Iran’s New Leader Calls For ‘Constructive Dialogue’

· Sep. 20, 2013, 12:00 pm

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani uses the op-ed pages of The Washington Post on Friday to:

“Urge my counterparts to seize the opportunity presented by Iran’s recent election. I urge them to make the most of the mandate for prudent engagement that my people have given me and to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue. Most of all, I urge them to look beyond the pines and be brave enough to tell me what they see — if not for their national interests, then for the sake of their legacies, and our children and future generations.”

He also makes the case that:

“A constructive approach to diplomacy doesn’t mean relinquishing one’s rights. It means engaging with one’s counterparts, on the basis of equal footing and mutual respect, to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives. In other words, win-win outcomes are not just favorable but also achievable. A zero-sum, Cold War mentality leads to everyone’s loss.”

Finally, Rouhani says his government is ready “to help facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that “Iran’s leaders, seizing on perceived flexibility in a private letter from President Obama, have decided to gamble on forging a swift agreement over their nuclear program with the goal of ending crippling sanctions, a prominent adviser to the Iranian leadership said Thursday.”

On Morning Edition Friday, host Renee Montagne talked with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace about Rouhani’s efforts to reach out to the U.S.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit

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