How does one say "Détente" in Persian?

So, Obama and Rouhani spoke directly with each other. On the phone, but still directly.

Good or bad?

I say good. Forget Syria. (Yeah, I know, 100,000 dead, so I don’t mean forget that, just that Iran is sooooo much more important to the region than Syria.) Iran is a regional power, and probably on track to being even more of one. Their government is a “bad guy”, but we have solid relation with plenty of governments that are worse. And if you look at it objectively, we have a lot more in common with Iran than we don with Saudi Arabia.

Iranians, as a people, love America. They, or their elders, have lived a modern, western lifestyle. They have a large, secular middle class.

Saudi Arabia, let us remember, spawned most of the 9/11/01 hijackers. The only reason we coddle up to them is OIL. As bad as it is for women in Iran, would you rather be a woman in Saudi Arabia or Iran?

Sure, we have several, serious, beefs with Iran. But we’ll never work them out if we don’t talk. Good for Obama for having the courage and vision to break the ice. I’m sure he’ll get a ton of grief from the Republicans for this bold, important move. We need to show the Iranian people that we are with them. They voted for the best guy out of the bunch selected by the Council of Guardians (the clerics who hold the real power in Iran). It’s time we showed them we are on their side.

…four years ago. I think we missed that train.

There is more than one train.

Damn! This peace scare could play havoc with my munitions investments!

I have it on the very best authority that this is simply another humiliation and defeat for Obama, as he is deftly outfoxed by America’s enemies. So far, nobody has suggested he is conspiring with Putin, but its early yet…

Agreed. This is definitely good.

Again, agreed. I just don’t expect the chuckleheads in Washington to take that attitude any time soon.

My impression is that a good number of the disagreements we have with Iran can be traced back to the ways we and other Western nations have meddled internally in Iran throughout the 20th century.

You are of course correct that talking is crucial to finding some way forward with this relationship. Let’s just hope Netanyahu doesn’t go berserk about this. There is no reason a U.S.-Iran thaw has to mean trouble for Israel.

And I fully expect a large number of Republicans and several Democrats to go full on crazy about this.

And apparently the answer to the question you posed in the thread title is اشتی.

Peace Train!

Yes, one must pause in dismay to consider the growing number of world leaders who continue to outmaneuver Obama on their way to his preferred position.

Can we wait until someone makes that argument in this thread before we go there?

An exciting development, this.

Any ideas on what will happen with Iran’s nuclear power program? Any chance that the Americans will lean back and allow the Iranians to expand the program, build more nuclear power plants, etc.?

No, I don’t think we must or should. This thread is not an island, entire unto itself.

You posted a great OP, commenting on the milestone achievement of direct dialogue between POTUS and the Iranian President, and soliciting commentary & analysis regarding future development between the nations and in the region. My point (and I believe **‘luc’**s) is that the significance of this will be underappreciated and dismissed by a sizable minority of hardliners and Obama detractors (who are relevant to this discussion, John). On the plus side, this disdain for process could, as it has in the past, give some breathing room for less bellicose diplomacy behind the scenes.

OK, you’re Donne here…


This will probably depend on what degree of monitoring of their nuclear program the Iranian’s allow. There is likely to be a sizable number of people who will insist on keeping a very close eye on every speck of nuclear fuel to make sure none of it is diverted to making weapons.

All of them, one way or another, as far as I can tell–most notably the CIA/MI6 coup that overthrew Mossadegh, inaugurating a savage tyranny to which the revolution of '79 (co-opted by Islamists) was a reaction.

For Obama to now engage with the current, milder-flavored Islamist tyranny is probably good from a geopolitical perspective, but I don’t see that the Iranian people come much into it. When the children and grandchildren of those tortured and murdered by the Shah were in the streets a few years ago, that was the time.

It would have been a better time to do so. no doubt. But I’m just not buying this “you only get one chance” argument. Do you have any reason to think it is a valid argument?

I winced.

We cannot abide a dove gap !

I heard Mark Shields, the Avatar of Frumpy, use the phrase Friday night on Lehrer. Immediately flashed on a favorite movie from my youth, Bedazzled. The original, of course, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, not that appalling remake.

Got two bits says Mark Shields saw the same movie, and tucked that golden phrase away for later use. Not stole, exactly. Just squirreled it away for later. And bless his heart, he does mean well…

Suit yourself. The fact that many on the other side of the aisle will reflexively be opposed and find fault with Obama is like stating the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. So, now that we’ve got that out of the way…

I don’t know if Iran wants the bomb or not, but who can really blame them if they do? I wish we would spend more time developing a strategy of how to deal with a nuclear Iran than trying to prevent one. If they want the bomb, they’ll get it. NK has shown us that even the dirt poorest of countries can do so if they choose.