Monday, 29 December 2014

Obama: 'Never say never' on U.S. embassy in Iran...........

President Obama said he would “never say never” to opening a U.S. embassy in Tehran, leaving open the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties with Iran as he did with Cuba.
“I never say never, but I think these things have to go in steps,” Obama told NPR of an American embassy in Tehran. “You know, Cuba is a circumstance in which for 50 years, we have done the same thing over and over again and there hadn't been any change. And the question was should we try something different with a relatively tiny country that doesn't pose any significant threat to us or our allies.”
Some conservatives say Obama’s normalizing of relations with Cuba is particularly troubling because he could follow down a similar path with Iran — the U.S. recently extended nuclear negotiations with the nation.
Yet Obama cautioned that such a development was not imminent.
“Tehran is a large, sophisticated country that has a track record of state-sponsored terrorism, that we know was attempting to develop a nuclear weapon, or at least the component parts that would be required to develop a nuclear weapon; that has engaged in disruptions to our allies; whose rhetoric is not only explicitly anti-American but also has been incendiary when it comes to its attitude towards the state of Israel," he explained.
“So, there's a lot of history there that's different from the history between us and Cuba,” the president added. “And the strategic importance of — of Tehran is — or Iran is different from what we face with Cuba.”
Yet Obama said he remained optimistic about finalizing a deal with Iran on the nation’s nuclear program, despite GOP warnings that such an agreement would have disastrous national security implications for the United States.
“In order for us to I think open that aperture with respect to Iran, we have to get this nuclear issue resolved — and there's a chance to do it and the question's going to be whether or not Iran is willing to seize it,” Obama argued. “I think there are elements inside of Iran that recognize the opportunity and want to take it.”