Iran: The Age of ‘Blood Feuds’ is Over

Hassan Rouhani offers an olive branch to the West and says his government is prepared to ‘"facilitate dialogue" as Syrian officials ponder a potential ceasefire

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Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam / AP

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks during an interview with state television at the presidency in Tehran, Iran.

After decades in which relations between the United States and Iran have been cold if not openly hostile the newly elected Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has signaled his country may be ready to talk rapprochement with the West. The Iranian leader, who is set to speak at the United Nations next week, has also offered to help initiate talks between the embattled government of President Bashar Assad and the opposition in Syria.

In a Washington Post op-ed published on Friday, Rouhani wrote: “The world has changed. International politics is no longer a zero-sum game but a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously. Gone is the age of blood feuds. World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities.”

Speaking to the war in Syria, Rouhani wrote: “We must create an atmosphere where peoples of the region can decide their own fates. As part of this, I announce my government’s readiness to help facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.”

Since taking office in August, Rouhani has rolled out a measured public relations drive in an attempt to bring Tehran back into the international fold after years of diplomatic and economic isolation under former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

(MORE: Rouhani Dismisses Claims of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons)

Rouhani is set to travel to New York next week to attend the U.N. General Summit. While the president is not scheduled to hold formal talks with U.S. President Barack Obama, rumors continue to circulate in diplomatic circles that the two may briefly meet on the sidelines of the summit. When Rouhani was asked by NBC’s Ann Curry about the potential for dialogue during an interview in Tehran this week, Rouhani replied that “necessary conditions” must be met first, but the president noted that “anything is possible in the world of politics.”

Meanwhile, Assad’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil has admitted that the civil war has ground to a stalemate with no side seemingly strong enough to secure a decisive battlefield victory, and that officials were considering calling for a ceasefire during a proposed conference in Geneva.

“Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side,” Jamil told the Guardian. “This zero balance of forces will not change for a while.”

While the government may be considering a ceasefire that could bring peace to large swathes of the country, rebel militias in the war-torn nation continued to battle both forces loyal to Assad and each other this week — opening a new front and adding another layer of complexity to the more than two-year-old conflict. On Thursday, an Al-Qaeda-linked militia succeeding in resting a town near the Turkish border from rebels with ties to the more moderate Free Syrian Army.

(WATCH: Rebels Claim Video Shows Iranian Soldiers Fighting in Syria)

The news follows reports of renewed tensions between Islamist forces calling for the establishment of a caliphate in the country and militias committed to unseating Assad. In an audio message published last week, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Islamist militias in Syria to shun relations with more moderate, secular forces that the U.S. has begun furnishing with light arms.

“I warn my brothers and people in the Syria of unity and jihad against coming close to any of these groups,” said Zawahri in an audio message recorded earlier this month.

In a blow to both Islamists and Assad, reports surfaced earlier this week that the opposition Syrian National Coalition struck a groundbreaking deal with a bloc of influential Kurdish parties. According to a report published by Abu Dhabi’s The National, both opposition forces and Assad have attempted to secure the ethnic group’s support with “each believing it could be crucial in tipping the balance of power on the ground in their favor.” Kurds account for approximately 10% of Syria’s population.

18 comments
AjaxLessome
AjaxLessome


Seriously? I'm all for dialogue, but dialogue should be predicated on clear understandings of what the end game should be. In the case of Iran, that end game should be the abandonment of nuclear weapons. If Iran wants nuclear power for peaceful uses, it has to submit to inspection and buy fuel rods and not enrich its own. Iran also needs to clean up its human rights record and halt the barbaric practice of public hangings, as well as reopen dissident news media and release political and religious prisoners. Iran also needs to halt its foreign adventures in supporting terror groups and smuggling arms in places like Syria. Dialogue is great, but it means to be meaningful, otherwise it's like North Korea; a delaying tactic or bargaining chip. Iran has too long a history of saying one thing and doing another and Rouhani is as practiced at it as anyone. You can see it for yourself at www.hassan-rouhani.info. Only regime change is going to really change Iran while the mullahs and Khamenei hang onto control for dear life.

YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada

When Assad’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil admitted that "the civil war has ground to a stalemate... and that officials were considering calling for a ceasefire during a proposed conference in Geneva", He is hinting on an offer the Assad regime is ballooning: We will accommodate some power sharing with the non-Islamic rebels in exchange for their coordinated support action against the Islamic groups. True, neither side can win a war against the other two (not Assad against the two rebels groups, nor the FSA against Assad and the Islamist), but the third permutation (Assad plus non-Islamists) can defeat the Islamist while gaining support of most external powers (a global coalition spanning from Russia to USA, including EC and most Arab countries). While nobody is happy to see War criminals go unpunished, this is a better resolution of the stalemate than continuation of the atrocities. Politics is about reaching the least disgusting solution, not the pie in the sky of the perfect world dream. Putin understands that, now Rouhani shows that he too got the point, and Europe, as always, will be happy to do business with whoever signs the checks in Damascus. Even Israel will rather accommodate a reformed Assad that learn how to tame a new, militant regime, guided by half-crazy fundamentalists eager to demonstrate how they outdo the old dictator and his father on the battlefield. Can John Kerry get it?

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

Obama can be OBAMA again...

Yes, in the last month diplomacy on Syria, Obama did lose his face, reputation, standing and image but Putin handed over him the life line and he was wise enough to catch it and hold it. Now, he got another golden opportunity to re-establish his lost image, reputation, credibility and standing on the world screen taking very bold and daring steps to resolve the nuclear issue among many with Iran. Like Putin; the Mullahs have given him an another opportunity to play his Presidential role wisely and decisively and make his Presidency an unique and legacy as bright as he can dream. Let me suggest few steps to take: (i) For a while leave Israel, AIPAC and Oil Kings away (ii) Put removal of all sanctions on table including de-freezing the billions of dollar asset of Iran around the globe (iii) offer an apology of past atrocities carried out by America towards Iran (iv) Extend a hand of friendship with equal terms and with due respect (v) And ask for close all rebels and terrorist camps around the globe; Join hands with America to resolve Palestine issue peacefully, just and fairly and respectfully accepting Israel on the map; open all the secret of nuclear programs to the U.N. and provide verifiable mechanism to check that Iran is not interested in making nuke weapons or any WMD's. Obama has a chance to owned and claimed the Nobel Peace Prize he received in anticipation with dignity.   

Icansee4miles
Icansee4miles

Iran is a master at subterfuge; Taqqiya-to lie for the cause-is a centuries old tenet of Shia Islam, and their conman in sheep's clothing is a testament to how telling people what they want to hear still works! The Bahrain Protocol-Amazon Kindle's new Thriller- predicted the U.S. withdrawal from the world stage, Iran's ascendancy, and Israel’s gamble to stop their nuclear program-with the assistance of former nemesis Saudi Arabia. It's a great read-and a chilling forecaster of impending global chaos.

Ahu
Ahu

At least based on his writing, Rouhani sounds extremely well spoken; always a good thing. However, the middle-east will never be a peaceful place. Exertion of power is too ingrained in their culture.

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Daniel 11:23-24...

23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

...Psalm 55:21........
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Deceivers they are....They are buying time.......they are suffering under sanctions, and they want them lifted. But they won't give up their nuclear program, as they have adamantly stated. It's time to play hardball with Iran, and say, NO DEAL. But I think the world does not have the stomach to stand against them with force........

........ ..Revelation 17:2.......

with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.".

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

David Stout: «Kurds account for approximately 10% of Syria’s population»

Ronald Reagan: “The Kurds are like a match America could light whenever it decides to”

President al-Assad said "The Kurds are a basic part of the Syrian fabric… As I said few years ago, Syria, without any of its components, can't be the Syria we know and can not be stable," added the President.

http://www.syriaonline.sy/details.php?t=syria&id=1817

"National initiative of Syrian Kurds"

In his statement, the Organization warned the Turkish Government against the consequences of any attack on the sovereignty of the ATS."National initiative Syrian Kurds" stressed in his statement that from the first days of the Syrian crisis, the Turkish Government adopted a frankly hostile attitude with respect to the Syrian people and leadership. By Zionist-American community and with the help of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it was supporting armed terrorist groups, speaking for the repetition of the Libyan script in Syria under humanitarian pretexts.The organization stressed that the Syrian Kurds are an integral part of the people of Syria, ready to protect the northern borders of the country and stop anyone who violates them.Kurdish people's committees: the Syrian territory will become the Tomb to anyone who planned aggression against countrieshttp://sana.sy/rus/325/2012/07/28/433636.htm

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

@SouthernFlorida

@TIME

 @TIMEWorld

Revelation 17:12-14.......... 12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast..........