The Iranian people came out in record numbers on Friday June 14, 2013 to cast their ballots for the next President of Iran. We congratulate Mr. Hassan Rouhani on his win, wish him good luck, and hope that he would effectively lead the country towards prosperity in this turbulent time. Mr. Rouhani now must move beyond the competition and become the President of ALL Iranians, defending their rights and solving their problems. We also urge his competitors in this election to accept the result and cooperate with Mr. Rouhani towards a better Iran.
Of the many problems facing the President-elect, conflict with the United States is most troubling and must be urgently attended. Iran’s nuclear program is the key obstacle to a better US-Iran relations. Fortunately, Mr. Rouhani is well-versed with the nuclear issue as he was the lead negotiator for many years. He needs to garner unconditional support of the Supreme Leader and the country’s military-security apparatuses before venturing into a productive roadmap to solving the nuclear dispute. He can then use that accomplishment to negotiate a global settlement of US-Iran disputes.
The United States must also be fully alert of the fact that the opportunity this election has created will not last long. In particular, unless Washington offers a quick gesture of goodwill towards the new administration in Tehran and reciprocate goodwill from Iran, the small window of opportunity that has become open can shot in no time. This will be unfortunate because the American coercive diplomacy toward Iran and Tehran’s resistance to pressure has set a dangerous course in US-Iran relations. This direction must change to avoid war and a nuclear Iran.
Communicating meaningfully and building trust within a framework of mutual respect and gain are key first steps. The American Iranian Council, the pioneer organization in US-Iran relations, stands ready to provide a platform for promoting understanding and dialogue as well as offering constructive ideas for a mutually respectful and beneficial resolution of disputes and towards building cooperative relations. It is our hope that the change of administration in Tehran will usher in a new beginning for US-Iran relations.
-The American Iranian Council