Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – has yet to sit down with President Obama, but he’s sitting down with everybody else – the latest being Charlie Rose on PBS, saying through a translator there’s no reason the U.S. and Iran can’t walk hand-in-hand.
“Hand in hand we must move forward to ensure that the national law is enforced,” Rouhani said.
That seems rather chummy – and he even agreed with what President Obama said at the UN this week – that this could lead to wider discussions.
Rouhani continued, “And once we abide by that settlement of the nuclear fine it will certainly pave the way for further discussions on other issues.”
Other issues, like maybe, accepting the presence of Israel? Because unlike his predecessor, Rouhani said yes, of course the Holocaust happened. “I condemn the massacre carried out by the Nazis. I’ll also add that many groups were killed by the Nazis.”
But is this real? Ken Pollack – senior fellow at the Brookings Institution – says Rouhani is a politician, and just like an American politician, he needs to show that he can get results.
“He is someone that would clearly like to move Iran in another direction but he’s got very significant opposition at home,” said Pollack. “And it’s important for him to get a win early.”
In fact he’s talking about a timeline of around six months – warp speed in diplomatic circles. Which means that if Iran is serious it had better open up its nuclear facilities to a thorough inspection by approximately … right now.