"We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course. Given President Rouhani’s stated commitment to reach an agreement, I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort with the Iranian government..."
That he posits the possibility of a relationship developing between Iran -- a renegade state that fosters terrorism world-wide and makes the killing in Syria possible -- and the US that is based on "mutual interests and mutual respect" is an indication of how high in the atmosphere he is floating and how little his words have genuine diplomatic import.
"As expected, this was a cynical speech that was full of hypocrisy...
"This is exactly Iran's strategy – to talk and play for time in order to advance its ability to achieve nuclear weapons.
Earlier, on the opening of the UN session, the Prime Minister's office had also put this out:
"Iran thinks that soothing words and token actions will enable it to continue on its path to the bomb. Like North Korea before it, Iran will try to remove sanctions by offering cosmetic concessions, while preserving its ability to rapidly build a nuclear weapon at a time of its choosing."
"Israel would welcome a genuine diplomatic solution that truly dismantles Iran's capacity to develop nuclear weapons. But we will not be fooled by half-measures that merely provide a smokescreen for Iran's continual pursuit of nuclear weapons. And the world should not be fooled either."
Netanyahu is right, is right, is right. The question is, who will listen? We still have his own speech at the UN coming...
Please note Netanyahu's reference to dismantling of Iran's capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Simply getting Iran to stop, when the capacity to start again still exists, would be sorely insufficient.
This is something I will want to return to, and monitor. It is a vastly complex subject -- the question of what has to be dismantled -- or removed from the country -- in order to render Iran unable to pursue nuclear capacity.
As Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, points out:
"...the potential for compromise is decidedly murky. Mr. Rouhani, via intermediaries, may have floated the idea of a meaningful step forward (in the form of the closure of one of its uranium enrichment facilities, the pilot enrichment plant at Fordo). But, experts point out that this is hardly decisive, insofar as the regime already has sufficient quantities of low- and medium-enriched uranium and working centrifuges to make possible the development of weapons-grade fissile material."
On September 23, immediately prior to Rouhani's speech at the UN, Iran held its annual military parade, attended by Rouhani. Various messages were featured in that parade:
"While in English the Iranians wrote 'Down with America,' in Persian and Arabic, the Iranians wrote, 'Death to America'...
"The parade included a line of missile transports carrying Shahab-3 missiles, which have a 1,300 kilometer range that can reach both Israel and American bases in the Persian Gulf...
Finally, under Rouhani's presidency, Iran's military parade contained a blatant statement calling for Israel's destruction. On the lead vehicle of a line of trucks transporting Shahab-3 missiles, there appears a banner that reads: 'Esraail baayad az beyn beravad' - "Israel Should Cease to Exist"...