Rep. Ed Royce of Rowland Heights makes some interesting points:
“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the United Nations this week is being analyzed in excruciating detail for signs that the long-stalled negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program can finally gain traction. What exactly did Rouhani mean when he talked about peace and moderation? The media blitz has been interesting, but what really matters is what Rouhani does with his first 100 days in office.
Although a new leader’s first 100 days is admittedly an arbitrary marker — the Iranian president’s U.N. speech punctuated the halfway mark — in Rouhani’s case, it will be a reasonable test of whether he can match his words with actions. Will Tehran show any willingness to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program?
For starters, Rouhani needs to make it crystal clear whether Iran is prepared to accept President Obama’s long-standing offer to establish direct, substantive and meaningful negotiations between the U.S. and Iran. Does he have the political courage to take this step? More important, does he have the abiding blessing of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader?
If we get to this point, Rouhani must bring something new and meaningful to the table. Until now, the Iranian negotiators have offered minimal nuclear concessions in exchange for maximum financial and oil sanctions relief. Since his election, the only nuclear-related action taken by Rouhani has been to announce that his foreign minister, Javad Zarif, a veteran Iranian diplomat known to many in the West, will represent the country in upcoming nuclear negotiations. It remains to be seen though how much authority Zarif will have.
And neither Zarif nor Rouhani has shown a willingness to commit to a freeze in Iran’s nuclear program, as called for in successive U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
Read more at IRAN