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WASHINGTON, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama has not ruled out a meeting with his Iranian counterpart during the UN General Assembly this week though no bilateral meeting has been scheduled, a White House official said Monday.
“We don’t rule out that type of engagement,” White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters on Air Force One regarding a possible meeting between Obama and newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Washington and Tehran severed diplomatic ties in 1979 following the overthrow of Iran’s US-backed leader by Islamic revolutionaries, and the two sides have been locked in a stalemate for years over the Iranian government’s nuclear ambitions.
Rouhani has signaled his interest in greater engagement with the United States and the West, including in an op-ed published last week in The Washington Post in which he suggested Tehran would like to “move beyond impasses, whether in relation to Syria, my country’s nuclear program or its relations with the United States.”
The Obama administration has said Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, while the Iranian government insists its nuclear program is peaceful in nature.
While no meeting between Obama and Rouhani is scheduled, Rhodes said Monday that Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with his Iranian counterpart this week, talks that would mark the highest-level discussions between the two nations since 1979.
Kerry will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Thursday along with their counterparts from the so-called Iran Six group of mediators: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
“We are open to engagement with the Iranian government at a variety of levels provided that they will follow through on their commitments to address the international community’s concerns over their nuclear program,” Rhodes said.
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- wanklordThe Russian Federation will never allow Iran to become a regional power03:33, 24/09/2013The Russian Federation will never allow Iran to become a regional power in the Middle East, thus do not expect any sort of diplomatic breakthrough between the US and the Islamic Republic anytime soon. Either Russia gives the go-ahead to Israel to bomb Iran's nuclear and military infrastructure (and not America as everybody is set to believe) or the unavoidable escalation of the ongoing civil war in Syria will facilitate that. Moscow has lots to win by having a destabilized region (specially a war of attrition between Shias and Sunnis) and oil trade being disrupted in that part of the world.
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Edward Snowden is not an isolated case but part of an independent community which is increasingly resolute in asserting itself and rejecting “raison d’Etat” and behind-the-scenes manipulation. The direct results of Snowden’s disclosures are most clearly evident in the context of Russian-American relations. The Snowden case has humiliated Europe, which Putin took the opportunity to remind them of.