By Davoud Hermidas Bavand, University Professor
and Iran-US Analyst
Source: Iranian Diplomacy; translated By: Iran Review
Head of the Iranian diplomatic apparatus recently pointed to Hillary Clinton's proclaimed policies in the course of presidential campaigns which caused her to lose ground to Barack Obama and noted that "different voices are heard from Washington which originates from the current problems in US foreign policy. However, it seems that positions taken by Mrs. Clinton are basically different from other voices."
In fact, Obama is trying, in his treatment of Iran, to rely more on bilateral talks and diplomacy, especially when it comes to Tehran's nuclear program. This strategy, which has been met by Iran's cold reaction, is turning into collective polity of 5+1.
Due to his insistence on usefulness of diplomacy, the US president was under pressure from various quarters. Firstly, the Republican Party members maintained that in view of what has happened in Iran, especially following the 10th presidential polls, Washington should change course and support the uprising of the Iranian people. Secondly, the US Congress, for the first time, passed a bill which bans gasoline sales to Iran. Thirdly, Obama is also under pressure from the American public opinion. In the meantime, the impact and role of the Israeli lobby should not be ignored.
As a result of those multilateral pressures, which have modified Obama's early approach towards Iran, Mrs. Clinton has reemphasized that the doors were open to Iran for negotiations and has underlined priority of a diplomatic solution over other alternatives. She has said that it is important for the United States to get China and Russia in line in order to make more serious decisions through 5+1 deliberations. She has also noted that the United States is bent on supporting the Iranian nation.
In fact, both the United Nations Security Council in its resolutions, and the United States in its approaches to Iran, have noted that although there is a possibility of considering more serious sanctions against Iran, the door is also open to negotiations. That is, they prefer to reach a diplomatic solution acceptable to both sides before considering tougher sanctions against Tehran.
The US approach vis-à-vis Iran and the statements of US statesmen have not changed. The only obvious change is pressure from the US public opinion and Congress following social developments in post-election Iran which has made the US government to lend its support to the Iranian people and has highlighted that support in future policies of the United States.
Obama had stated from the outset that finding a solution to the nuclear problem was a priority for his Administration regardless of who would be in power in Iran. Today, in addition to the nuclear row, breach of human rights in Iran and support for the Iranian nation are major instances which have been underlined by Mrs. Clinton and other American officials.
Therefore, the main addition to the viewpoints of US politicians on Iran is more emphasis on the situation of human rights in the country and support for the Iranian people in parallel to negotiations over the nuclear program.
About Iran Review: Iran Review (www.iranreview.org) is the leading independent, non-governmental and non-partisan website - organization representing scientific and professional approaches towards Iran's political, economic, social, religious, and cultural affairs, its foreign policy, and regional and international issues within the framework of analysis and articles.
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