Vigorous diplomacy, direct talks, an extended hand to an unclenched fist and now a letter to Iran. All of these are concrete signs that the Obama administration is adopting a completely different approach to the Islamic Republic than that of his predecessor.
In the latest move to reach out to Iran, the Obama administration has drafted a letter form the president aimed at thawing relations between the two countries. The letter gives assurances that Washington does not want to overthrow the Islamic regime, but merely seeks a change in its behavior.
The letters contains suggestion that vary from Iran looking at its poor standard of living to stopping what the US called state sponsorship of terror.
In his first interview with a foreign media outlet – Al-Arabiya television – President Barack Obama promised to extend the hand of American diplomacy to Tehran if the regime froze its nuclear programme. And the new UN envoy Susan Rice said that “Vigorous diplomacy with Iran” is a top priority for the Obama administration.
Despite welcoming the change of tone in US foreign policy towards his country, Iran’s president demanded an apology for past US “crimes” committed against Iran.
The new US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is due to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas today to talk about a long stalled peace process and amid continuous violence in Gaza.
Is Obama’s new approach the right one? Reading various blogs today many people are suggesting that to move forward both sides need to apologise for past mistakes – would it work and is it realistic? And how important is Iran in bringing peace to the middle east?
Also read Randa Takkieddine’s article in Dar Al Hayat examining Obama’s new tone with Iran and the difficult road ahead.