News ID: 3218
Published: 0711 GMT October 11, 2014

Taboo of direct talks with US

Direct talks between Iran and the US are no longer a taboo which was broken by the incumbent government and is now regarded as a big achievement. Holding face to face talks was initiated by the government of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which lacked the courage of making it public. The government itself blew the lid off the secret talks during the last two years of Ahmadinejad tenure in September prior to President Hassan Rouhani's trip to New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly session. The government announced that Iran and the US engaged in direct talks in an Arab country, most probably Oman. Now those who held secret talks with the US cannot stomach such a great achievement.

Talks between the two sides gained momentum when Rouhani spoke with US President Barack Obama last year on the sidelines of the UNGA gathering and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held several meetings with his American counterpart John Kerry.

The previous government, run by the Conservatives, did its best to hold talks with the US and did so but kept denying it and in fact preferred to keep the public in the dark.

Ahmadinejad, on various occasions, signaled his willingness to meet his American counterpart and even wrote to US president George W Bush and his successor Obama but both of his letters went unanswered and their contents were never made public. Such moves never drew angry reactions from conservative MPs and radicals.

Holding talks was an inevitable compromise made by both sides in order to settle their disagreements at least over Iran's nuclear energy program and it did work.

Many believe the US is the leader of the P5+1 and the nuclear issue can be resolved if Tehran and Washington bury the hatchet and reach a settlement. Therefore, there shouldn't be a hue and cry over a possible meeting between Rouhani and Obama. A government which valiantly shattered such a taboo perfectly knows when and how such a meeting should take place in order to derive the maximum benefit from it.

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