While President Obama and President Rouhani consider what could be a historic handshake at the U.N. General Assembly, Israel is mocking the new Iranian president on social media. Eli Lake reports.
The Iranian-Israeli relationship since 1979 has been marked by terrorism, assassinations, and mutual denunciations. On Monday the Jewish state decided to try a new tactic: trolling.
At 6:15 p.m. Monday, Israel’s embassy in Washington tweeted a link to a parody LinkedIn account for Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani. While many have been heartened by Rouhani’s recent public statements expressing a desire to negotiate an end to his country’s nuclear standoff with the West, the Israelis at least are not buying it.
In a speech at the United Nations, the president said America is ‘exceptional’ and must ‘stand up for the interests of all.’
President Barack Obama stood before the United Nations General Assembly today, scoffed at the idea of a Pax Americana, then suggested he’d like to lead the world community in establishing something that looks, in fact, very much like global peace in the American image.
Watch highlights from Obama's UN speech.
“I believe that America is exceptional,” said Obama. Its ability to “stand up for the interests of all” is special. And the danger after an exhausting decade of war in the Muslim world, he said, is not that the United States will get more involved in building global peace—sometimes, if necessary by acts of war—but that it will turn its back and “create a vacuum of leadership.”
Now may be the last chance for the U.S. and Iran to try serious diplomacy, not just smiles—or start seriously worrying about war, warns Leslie H. Gelb.
Faced with the biggest opportunity of his presidency—the possibility of turning around relations with Iran—Obama has got his first move half right. He’s decided to “test” Tehran’s new charm offensive, and not just offer a cold shoulder.
You might say that’s no big deal. You’re wrong.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, second right, reviews military forces marching during an annual military parade in Tehran on September 22, 2013. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Bill Clinton opened his annual gathering with an emotional remembrance of a Clinton Foundation employee killed in Kenya, Bono did his best impression of the former president, and corruption fighter Mo Ibrahim blasted the West for neglecting investment in Africa.
President Bill Clinton kicked off his annual meeting on a teary note Tuesday, speaking about a Clinton Foundation employee who was killed at the Nairobi mall massacre on Saturday. Elif Yavuz, a young eight-months-pregnant, Dutch-born Harvard Ph.D., and her partner, architect Ross Langdon, were both stationed in Nairobi. Clinton had met Yavuz just six weeks ago on a visit to the country. “I hope they can be a metaphor for what we're all about," he said emotionally, "and I ask you to remember them and their families and all those people we don't know who were killed in Kenya and the Navy Yard and everywhere else people die senseless deaths.” Her mother, he said, has asked the Clintons to name her daughter's unborn child.
Former president Bill Clinton speaks during the opening session of the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting on September 24, 2013, in New York City. (Ramin Talaie/Getty)
“If the people who killed them are right, we're wasting our time,” Clinton told the audience. “If what we're doing is right, we have to be a rebuke every single day to the people who'd tear it down.”
An olive branch from Iran’s new president has raised hopes of a nuclear thaw. But two top senators have told Obama they’re nowhere near ready to lift sanctions, Eli Lake reports.
As Iran’s new leader raises the possibility of opening nuclear negotiations with President Obama, key U.S. lawmakers say any agreement would have to clear a significant hurdle: dismantling a nuclear program Iran has insisted is its sovereign right.
From left, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama. (AP; Getty)
At the very least, these legislators tell The Daily Beast, Iran will have to suspend enrichment of uranium.
Taxi drivers dread it. Diplomats depend on it. As world leaders descend on New York for the U.N. summit, Christopher Dickey on three major storylines to watch.
When hundreds of the world’s leaders converge on New York City for the United Nations General Assembly, as they are doing right now, taxi drivers call it “Hell Week.” They mean that literally. The traffic is a nightmare. Security is always tight, and this year the shadow of the ongoing siege in Nairobi is a grim reminder of how much havoc can be created by a handful of terrorists.
Pedestrians pass along police barricades outside the offices of the U.S. Department of State ahead of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2013, in New York. (John Minchillo/AP)
But for the diplomatic players who come to town it’s a more complicated ordeal as they mix and mingle, wait for the notoriously slow elevators at the Waldorf Towers, where President Barack Obama and many other leaders stay, and in some cases actually work for diplomatic breakthroughs.