Obama at UN: We’re going to talk with Iran

posted at 12:01 pm on September 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

So far, we still haven’t heard whether or not Barack Obama met with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani backstage at the United Nations General Assembly today, but Obama seemed to symbolically meet him on the podium.  Extolling a fatwa issues by Supreme Leader Ali Khameini and a promise not to develop nukes by Rouhani, Obama announced that Secretary of State John Kerry will ensure that “the diplomatic path has been tested”:

The United States and Iran have been isolated from one another since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This mistrust has deep roots. Iranians have long complained of a history of U.S. interference in their affairs, and America’s role in overthrowing an Iranian government during the Cold War. On the other hand, Americans see an Iranian government that has declared the United States an enemy, and directly – or through proxies – taken Americans hostage, killed U.S. troops and civilians, and threatened our ally Israel with destruction.

I don’t believe this difficult history can be overcome overnight – the suspicion runs too deep. But I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship – one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.

Since I took office, I have made it clear – in letters to the Supreme Leader in Iran and more recently to President Rouhani – that America prefers to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program peacefully, but that we are determined to prevent them from developing a nuclear weapon. We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy. Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon.

These statements made by our respective governments should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement. We should be able to achieve a resolution that respects the rights of the Iranian people, while giving the world confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful. To succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable. After all, it is the Iranian government’s choices that have led to the comprehensive sanctions that are currently in place. This isn’t simply an issue between America and Iran – the world has seen Iran evade its responsibilities in the past, and has an abiding interest in making sure that Iran meets its obligations in the future.

We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course. Given President Rouhani’s stated commitment to reach an agreement, I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort with the Iranian government, in close coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China. The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested. For while the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation, Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world, and will help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential – in commerce and culture; in science and education.

So far, the only clip of this comes from France 24, which has its translation on top of Obama’s speech.  I’ll replace it later with a clearer clip when one becomes available:

Here’s the full speech as aired on CNN, which called the speech “historic” before it started:

The problem with this formulation is that we have been testing the diplomatic path, for decades.  Iran signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and supposedly cooperated with the IAEA to enforce it, but got exposed for its development of a nuclear-weapons program ten years ago. Ever since, the P5+1 group has tried negotiating with Iran, and that group includes the same nations Obama identified above.  The new head of the IAEA even made the point in June that ten years of talks has everyone going around in circles.

So basically, the only difference — and it’s not an insubstantial one — is that Iran and the US will negotiate directly and indirectly at a high level on the issue. That actually is a change, but it was announced yesterday, which took some of the thunder away from Obama today at the UN.  Even that change, though, assumes that Rouhani and Khameini are sincere about negotiating at all, let alone about their fatwas and promises.  Given the history of these negotiations, it’s more likely that they’re more interested in stalling.

In other decidedly non-historic developments in the speech, Obama pledged to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict … again:

We are also determined to resolve a conflict that goes back even further than our differences with Iran: the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. I have made clear that the United States will never compromise our commitment to Israel’s security, nor our support for its existence as a Jewish state. Earlier this year, in Jerusalem, I was inspired by young Israelis who stood up for the belief that peace was necessary, just, and possible, and I believe there is a growing recognition within Israel that the occupation of the West Bank is tearing at the democratic fabric of the Jewish state. But the children of Israel have the right to live in a world where the nations assembled in this body fully recognize their country, and unequivocally reject those who fire rockets at their homes or incite others to hate them.

Likewise, the United States remains committed to the belief that the Palestinian people have a right to live with security and dignity in their own sovereign state. On the same trip, I had the opportunity to meet with young Palestinians in Ramallah whose ambition and potential are matched by the pain they feel in having no firm place in the community of nations. They are understandably cynical that real progress will ever be made, and frustrated by their families enduring the daily indignity of occupation. But they recognize that two states is the only real path to peace: because just as the Palestinian people must not be displaced, the state of Israel is here to stay.

The time is now ripe for the entire international community to get behind the pursuit of peace. Already, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a willingness to take significant political risks. President Abbas has put aside efforts to short-cut the pursuit of peace and come to the negotiating table. Prime Minister Netanyahu has released Palestinian prisoners, and reaffirmed his commitment to a Palestinian state. Current talks are focused on final status issues of borders and security, refugees and Jerusalem.

Now the rest of us must also be willing to take risks. Friends of Israel, including the United States, must recognize that Israel’s security as a Jewish and democratic state depends upon the realization of a Palestinian state. Arab states – and those who have supported the Palestinians – must recognize that stability will only be served through a two-state solution with a secure Israel. All of us must recognize that peace will be a powerful tool to defeat extremists, and embolden those who are prepared to build a better future. Moreover, ties of trade and commerce between Israelis and Arabs could be an engine of growth and opportunity at a time when too many young people in the region are languishing without work. So let us emerge from the familiar corners of blame and prejudice, and support Israeli and Palestinian leaders who are prepared to walk the difficult road to peace.

The best part about this section of the speech is that Obama can recycle it next year at the UN, too. However, with al-Qaeda-aligned Sunni terrorists attacking Iranian-proxy Shi’ite terrorists in Syria, perhaps we can stop pretending that the biggest cause of instability in the Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian sideshow.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Words…just words…

Murphy9 on September 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Small country; Not a threat

BobMbx on September 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

The World is safer than 5 years ago? Really? You’ve got to be friggin kidding me. I’m sure “talking” to Iran will go about as well as “talking” to Syria, Egypt, Libya, etc….

sandee on September 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The World is safer than 5 years ago? Really? You’ve got to be friggin kidding me. I’m sure “talking” to Iran will go about as well as “talking” to Syria, Egypt, Libya, etc….

sandee on September 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Oh, I forgot Russia on that list…

sandee on September 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM

The mullahs are back in Tehran gigging and rubbing their hands.

PattyJ on September 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM

How do you say “Bend over, boy” in Persian? The Clown Posse of Kerry, Dog Eater, and Hagel will screw this up so bad that Carter’s cowardly non-response to the embassy takeover will seem grandiose in comparison.

Bishop on September 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

With the brain trust we have in this administration this should be awesome.

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Disbelief had to be suspended, again. The goon lies with impunity.

Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama justified the NSA’s spying programs, arguing they have helped to stabilize the world in the five years since he took office.

“As a result of this work, and the cooperation of its allies and partners, the world is more stable than it was five years ago,” the president said on Tuesday morning.

Nonetheless, Obama also told the audience that the United States would review its surveillance practices due to concerns raised by the international community. Prior to the president’s speech, in her own remarks, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff sharply criticized the U.S. program, calling it a “breach of international law” and “totally unacceptable.”

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

obama’s bros – wake up.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Well…At least we found some hostage takers Obama is willing to reach out to.
So they killed a few dozen American soldiers.
So what…?
If Obama used that as a benchmark he would have no friends at all.

NeoKong on September 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

obama spoke as if Putin is not riding on his neck, as if he invented the Syria plan.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Blah, blah, blah.

Typical Obama speech.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Blah, blah, blah.

Typical Obama speech.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Yeah hysteric, I mean historic…

sandee on September 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Bishop on September 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Don’t ever forget Brennan. He and Hagel are practically converts to Islam.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Teddy Roosevelt: “Speak softly but carry a big stick”

Obama: “Speak loudly but carry a wet noodle for a stick”

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM

We’ll talk with the Mullahs. But John Boehner? Never!

VastRightWingConspirator on September 24, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Anyone who doesn’t understand that Iran promotes/funds the killing of Christians/Jews, the world over, is an incredibly obtuse moron.

obama is with his bros.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I am a little unclear how a president who is responsible for the Muslim Brotherhood fiasco in Egypt, the murders in Benghazi and general chaos in Libya, the rise of Hamas, the absolutely incompetent handling of Syria, losing the gains we’ve made in Iraq/Afghanistan and the unmitigated rise of a nuclear Iran- actually has any credibility to speak on the middle east and isn’t laughed off the stage.

What deal will Mr. Obama put on the table? Will he get them to roll back their program to where it was when he took office? That might be a bridge too far…

Marcus Traianus on September 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Yay, we’re gonna talk!

I feel so much better now. That was a close one.

Bat Chain Puller on September 24, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Electing Obama was a huge mistake.

Ayatollah so.

Drained Brain on September 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Obama will negotiate with terrorists who hang homosexuals and non-Muslims just because they exist and who finance attacks on our country.

But he won’t negotiate with Republicans.

GardenGnome on September 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Again, he won’t negotiate with his ego! — but he’ll talk to Iran, Syria, etc.

G. Charles on September 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Is this when libfreeordie reminds us that it’s lonely on the left because of all the reality they deal with?

gwelf on September 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

“I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested.”

With terrorists and enemies, yes… but not with Republicans, of course. I mean, let’s not be *crazy* or anything.

Midas on September 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I wonder how low a bow Obowmao will demonstrate for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei when they meet? I wonder if King Putt will kiss his ring?

I wonder if President Downgrade will offer up a full bow (level with the waist) to the Shia leader like he did to the Sunni leader from the House of Saud?

Missilengr on September 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

No, we aren’t, he is. Perhaps he will tell the new Iranian president that he will have much more flexibility after the next election….sorry, after his next executive order which will extend his presence in the office.

Pardonme on September 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

These Iranian overtures are simply an attempt to box Israel out. They went right up to Netanyahu’s red line and are now starting a diplomatic offensive to give them more time and cover while they cross it. Negotiations will drag on for the rest of Obama’s presidency and the next president will face a nuclear-armed Iran. A major war over this is probably about 4-6 years away.

Aplombed on September 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

How do you say “Bend over, boy” in Persian?

Bishop on September 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Alahu Akbar. It’s an all-purpose phrase that can mean anything from “I’m really stressed here at work” to “Die Infidel Pigs.”

Iran is still designated as a terrorist state. Think about that when you see the rat-eared bastard bowing to Hassan Rhouani.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Fool in Armani, eternally just there there.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

kingsjester‏@kingsjester
Obama said today that he will talk to the Iranians…but, not the Republicans. The political winds must be “blowing in an ugly direction.”

kingsjester on September 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM

The Jedi Mind Trick only works on the weak minded.

Ben Hur on September 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I wonder if any of this ‘First United States President’ to EVER BOW to a foreign dignitary will be PHOTOGRAPHED.
I wonder if any one has time and talent to make a collection of these shameful events and post them on the net.

Missilengr on September 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Safer now than five years ago? I like the way he puts it as all of the dog eaters doing.

Egypt in flames.
Libya in flames.
Syria in flames.
Iraq in flames.
Afghanistan in flames.
Tunisia in flames.
Most of sub Saharan Africa in flames.
Islamic terrorist attacks throughout the world.
Russian, Chinese, and our ships getting together in the Mediterranean Ocean.
The whole world upset that Obama’s NSA is spying on everybody.

Good God I would hate to see what King Barky the Incompetent thinks is less safe.

jukin3 on September 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

He’ll talk with Iranian thugs. With fellow Americans, not so much.

CurtZHP on September 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

jukin3 on September 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Don’t forget his Poookistan.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

What difference, at this point, does this make?

forest on September 24, 2013 at 12:28 PM

The reset button with Iran is gon’ be as glorious as the one with Russia, only more so.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM

More talk from the empty chair…

PatriotRider on September 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM

President Government will talk and negotiate with the Jew-hating homicidal nutcases in Iran, but won’t talk with House Republicans over making government spending more sane.

FORWARD!

Good Lt on September 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Bill Whittle had a great video on point about this: http://pjmedia.com/blog/umbrella-men/

He talks about the ego it must take to believe that if “they could just meet with ME, the sheer power of my presence will change their idealogy.” Neville Chamberlain Obama.

Meric1837 on September 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Dollars to donuts say that if Obama meets behind closed doors with Iran, Iran rolls out nukes in 5… 4… 3…

And Israel gets screwed.

So sad.

petefrt on September 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

in close coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China.

So, you’re going to coordinate with the EU and France and Germany seperately? Did they get kicked out of the EU?

BacaDog on September 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The President of the United States, jackass though he is, should not be meeting with Khameini’s messenger boy. If Rouhani is to meet with anyone it should be his American equivalent, Joke Biden.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Dear Leader will “talk” to our enemies, and to belligerent and hostile nations. He does a lot of that. And not much else. And they know it.

Oh, and he likes to lecture and wag his finger. I’m sure that goes over well all around the world. People the world over love be lectured by Americans and they pay close attention. /s

farsighted on September 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Iran is pouncing on the weakness shown by Obama over Syria and using this to show the world how they’re willing to talk. Of course Obama’s ego doesn’t allow him to see how he’s being played and the media will trip over themselves praising him for it. Heck, he might even get another nobel peace prize.

supernova on September 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

These are the two biggest liars on the planet. They each better have eyes in the back of their heads. Unfortunately, Iran is now dealing with a community organizer and will play him like a fiddle. Hope he doesn’t go all in. We are in big trouble.

rjoco1 on September 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Even P.T. Barnum is shaking his head in disbelief.

Droopy on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Obama needs the appearance of a deal. He needs a feather in his unraveled foreign policy hat. He needs a deal, and almost any deal will do.

He’ll agree to lift sanctions on Iran, and

He’ll offer foreign $$$ aid to Iran, in return for

Iran agreeing to outsource some of its nuclear development to Russia.

HT: Mark Bellings

petefrt on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I guess the Rodeo Clown didn’t get enough of a beating from Putin.
I’d bet that Barky wears a dog leash and Big Mooch’s undies behind closed doors.

justltl on September 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Hey, why not? If it doesn’t work out, we can always hit them with an unbelievably small strike, after we tell them when and where of course.

JusDreamin on September 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

This lady has steel, compared to the Eunuch of the World.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

You should have backed the Green Revolution you stupid narcissist. Now it’s too little and far too late.

John the Libertarian on September 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

The only way that works with iran Mr. President is if you walk in the negotiating room with your pants down backwards bending over.

jake49 on September 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM

I am a little unclear how a president who is responsible for the Muslim Brotherhood fiasco in Egypt, the murders in Benghazi and general chaos in Libya, the rise of Hamas, the absolutely incompetent handling of Syria, losing the gains we’ve made in Iraq/Afghanistan and the unmitigated rise of a nuclear Iran- actually has any credibility to speak on the middle east and isn’t laughed off the stage.

Excellent summary.

Jackalope on September 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

How long have we been “talking” to the Iranians now? How many YEARS?

And just exactly WHAT has been accomplished? Other than them obtaining more and more enriched uranium?

GarandFan on September 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM

So, President Quattro Pinocchio meets with Iranian leaders…
Should be good!

Prince Ali – fabulous he – Ali Ababwa
Genuflect, show some respect,
Down on one knee!
Now try your best to stay calm,
Brush off your sunday salaam,
Then come and meet his spectacular coterie!

Marcola on September 24, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Punch drunk. Yet he’s climbing back into the ring, only to get his ass haded to him again. But he sure is tough on us U.S. Citizens.

MikeinPRCA on September 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Another liberal idiot who thinks you can placate belligerents.

rickv404 on September 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Schadenfreude pure!

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM

How does azz taste bro?

Lonetown on September 24, 2013 at 5:09 PM