hassan rouhani

President Barack Obama has decided to test whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s “charm offensive” is a legitimate effort to reach an agreement on a more constricted and transparent Iranian nuclear program. With this decision, he embarks on the most transformative and important diplomatic initiative of his presidency.

The leader of Tehran's Jewish community has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to take advantage of the "unrepeatable" opportunity to repair relations with Iran, AFP reported on Monday. "If the U.S. and the international community do not make the best of this golden and perhaps unrepeatable opportunity, then it will be in the benefit of those who are against the normalization of ties between Iran and the U.S.," wrote Homayoun Sameyah, according to AFP, in an open letter addressed to Obama.

According to most media observers, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's recent trip to the United States, and his phone conversation with President Barack Obama, went as well as could be expected. The New York Times called Rouhani "blunt and charming," and the BBC heralded a "new tone" to his remarks.

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tries to ease friction with the United States, chants of "death to America" on Friday may deepen doubts in the West that Tehran is ready for a deal as talks on its nuclear program resume next week. Rouhani's resounding June election victory gave him a popular mandate to reverse Iran's confrontational foreign policy and attempt to win relief from international sanctions imposed over concerns Iran may be seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

In his first-ever interview last week with the BBC Persian Service, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inadvertently elicited a combination of outrage and ridicule with an offhand comment about the aspirations of Iran's population. Responding to a question about the prospects for change under Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, Netanyahu dismissed Rouhani and the election that elevated him as incompatible with the true preferences of the Iranian people, if they could be freely expressed.

Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence. Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.

Iran's parliament strongly endorsed President Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic bid to dispel mistrust at the United Nations last week during a visit which ended with an historic phone call with President Barack Obama, Iranian media said. The backing from the assembly, controlled by political factions deeply loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a further sign that Rouhani has the support of the Iranian establishment, though there are some rumblings from hardliners.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel sought to shred the credibility of Iran’s new president on Tuesday, using his annual speech at the United Nations to cast the Iranian as a man who could not be trusted and to press the international community to keep up sanctions to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb.