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Hassan Rouhani

  • Can the Iran Deal survive the Trump administration?

    From a White House flirting with a policy of regime change to a changing political reality in the Gulf to the terror attacks in Tehran, the Iranian nuclear deal's survival is anything but guaranteed. By Derek Davison The Iran nuclear deal—Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—is facing multiple threats, and whatever hope there may once have been that it could serve as a basis for improving U.S.-Iran ties is probably gone. Between the Trump administration’s emerging focus on Iranian regime change and recent instability in the Persian Gulf, simply maintaining the deal itself is proving to be a serious…

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  • Iran presidential elections: No easy victory for Rouhani

    For years, elections in Iran have been likened to a furnace that everyone must feed to fire up public participation. But the temperature is not always controllable. By Ali Reza Eshraghi Iran’s presidential elections have never been without drama. This year, the Guardian Council—a group tasked to approve candidates—set a new record for the number of disqualifications. Of the 1,636 individuals who registered, it approved only six. However, instead of being outraged over the Guardian Council’s nebulous and undemocratic process, everyone, including the Reformists, is frustrated about the ease with which anyone in Iran can register to run for president.…

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  • If nuclear deal fails, we can kiss Iran's moderates goodbye

    Should Iran and the West fail to come to an agreement, the battle will no longer be between the right and left, but rather between democratic forces and totalitarian ones. By Ahmad Rafat There is no doubt that the negotiators, whom these days are working to achieve a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear plan, do not want to drive a stake through these talks. Even France, which has been playing "bad cop" to the U.S.'s "good cop" in these meetings, is interested in reaching an agreement. It seems that the only country that stands nothing to gain is Russia (which…

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  • Israel's new motto: ‘Never trust a smiling Iranian’

    There’s something that's bothering Israelis these days, besides the Iranian nuclear program. It’s the Iranian Smile Assault. I’m not kidding. That’s what the Israeli government and Israeli media are labeling the appearances of Iranian officials in various international forums. When it was Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the talks for curbing Tehran’s nukes, Israelis couldn’t stand the sight of him smiling. “The Smile Assault of Zarif,” the headlines shouted in Israel. And just yesterday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani got the same treatment in the Israeli media. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the goal of the "regime of the…

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  • +972 People of the Year: Bloggers' picks

    Featured prominently in headlines this year were diplomatic initiatives that averted wars and lowered nuclear tensions, boycott victories, Israeli labor organizing, settlers settling in to mainstream politics, human rights defenders and at least one ruthless dictator. +972 bloggers pick the people who, for them, defined Israel, Palestine and the wider region in 2013. Read why +972 bloggers voted Edward Snowden as 2013’s person of the year. Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran Hassan Rouhani and the dynamic he generated in the few short months since becoming Iran's president are a perfect example of how established regional patterns can change when you…

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  • An important year for Iran nuclear talks: What Israel got wrong

    President Obama’s exceptional appearance at the Saban Forum amounts to an authorized interpretation of the nuclear agreement with Iran. Israeli leaders should be paying attention to the points he made. By Shemuel Meir The nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the “Joint Plan of Action,” which was signed in Geneva on November 24 between Iran and the superpowers is a great American diplomatic achievement with positive implications for Israel’s security. The agreement limits Iran’s capability to enrich uranium and begins to “roll back” those elements of Iran’s nuclear program that possess dangerous military potential. This is an agreement that has…

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  • On Iran, Netanyahu chooses politics over strategy

    Netanyahu did not take Israel's strategic interests into account in his latest confrontation with the United States. Will his decision cost him when it comes to the ballot box? Only time will tell.  By Ilan Baruch Over the last several days, Prime Minister Netanyahu's sour face has peered over at us through the screen. While his mouth was busy berating the six powers and President Obama, his eyes betrayed exhaustion. Ever since Iranian President Rouhani appeared before the UN General Assembly on his "charm offensive" directed toward the West, Netanyahu has been leading a losing battle. Netanyahu's paradigm, which was based…

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  • Under the radar: Israel's security establishment supports new Iran agreement

    The Israeli brass' stated view of the Geneva talks and Sunday's accord is plainly at odds with the loud, sustained 'gevalt!' coming from the Prime Minister's Office and cabinet. The news from Israel is that Israel hates the Iranian nuclear deal struck in Geneva – but the news is not entirely accurate. It’s true, of course, that Netanyahu and his government ministers (with the exception of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni) think the agreement is bad, very bad, very very bad, and that Obama and the West sold the Jews out to Hitler again. But there are some other extremely powerful…

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  • With tens of thousands of Jews living in Iran, why is Bibi calling their rulers Nazis?

    A. He's lying; B. He's reckless; C. He's both.   If Netanyahu really believes the Iranian regime is another Nazi Germany, if he really believes its creed is “death to the Jews” as he said in his speech this week to the UN General Assembly, why does he heap contempt on the regime and its leaders, why does he threaten to bomb the country, when there are, depending on the estimate, between 15,000 and 35,000 Jews living there? In his speech, he named “Supreme Leader” Khamenei and his predecessor Khomeini as “dictators.” He called Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”…

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  • It's stupid, dangerous and wrong to demand Iran's humiliation

    Whatever he tells the UN, Rouhani will not agree to give up nuclear weapons to please his country's nuclear-armed enemies. And when it's clear that he won't, it's his enemies who will face humiliation. I don’t believe Rouhani means it when he says Iran doesn’t want nuclear weapons. And even if he does, I don’t believe the supreme leader, Khamenei, would back him up, nor would the Iranian political/military establishment, nor would a very large proportion of the Iranian public, maybe a majority, maybe a large majority. Why shouldn’t Iran want nuclear weapons? Every major power and would-be major power wants…

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  • Obama's handling of Syria crisis revives Bibi's hopes of bombing Iran

    And this time, it's hard to see who will be able to stop him.  Netanyahu hasn’t said anything publicly, but the consensus here is that the lesson he’s taking from Obama’s refusal to bomb Syria straight away, and instead to turn to Congress for approval, is that the U.S. president can’t be trusted to keep his word about preventing Iran from going nuclear - so he, Netanyahu, must prepare to carry out the task alone. And the consensus seems to be that this is the correct conclusion, too.   “Netanyahu was right when he sought to act [against Iran in…

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