The Huffington Post
Posted: June 22, 2009
By Sanjeev Bery
CNN.com columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. is the latest to join the chorus of voices calling on President Obama to get tougher with the Iranian government. While tempting, the CNN commentator’s words fail to consider the legacy of 25 years of U.S. intervention against Iranian democracy.
Filed under Bery's pen, Iran
Did they shake hands? Did they chat? Was there a peck on the cheek? As with all first dates, it depends on who you talk to.
The New York Times reported that a pair of top diplomats from the U.S. and Iran had a polite chat at an international conference on Afghanistan this Tuesday. According to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
“It was cordial, unplanned and they agreed to stay in touch,” Mrs. Clinton said to reporters at the end of the conference. “I myself did not have any direct contact with the Iranian delegation.”
But not so fast. As the BBC later reported, an Iranian government spokesperson denied the whole thing:
“No meeting or talk, be it formal or informal, official or unofficial between Iran and US officials took place on the sideline of this conference…We categorically deny the reports published in this regard.”
One thing is for sure. The delicate dance has begun.
U.S. President Barack Obama released the video greetings below to the Iranian government and people.
The Nowruz holiday greetings are a rare opportunity to hear an American leader praising the culture and accomplishments of Iranian society. More than 50 years after the U.S. overthrew Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, this is a hopeful sign that perhaps our two nations can find a path to better relations.
Whitehouse.gov links: video, video with farsi subtitles, text of speech, or Farsi translation