U.S. policymakers should take a more strategic approach to Iranian sanctions relief and encourage the international business community to pursue commerce in the nation. It is not the United States’ job to rehabilitate the Iranian economy, of course, but clarifying the legal pathways toward Western investment in Iran is an important and necessary task.

But as years went by, that never happened, and Bakshi realized that platforms like Google and Facebook often failed to encourage people to connect in meaningful, personal ways over long distances.

U.S. and Iranian officials have been insisting the last several years that they wanted to resolve the nuclear issue before discussing the sectarian wars that are raging across the Middle East. Not anymore. As the battles have escalated in recent months, so has talk about regional diplomacy. 

Cinema Organization of Iran Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi said that Fajr International Film Festival helps Iran improve public diplomacy in the world. He made the remarks during the opening ceremony of the international section of the 33rd edition of the festival held at Tehran’s Mellat Cinema Complex on Saturday.

The concert last Friday was the first by an American musician in Iran since the 1979 revolution. Officials from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance sat in the front row, nodding their heads to renditions of tunes by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Mr. Belden’s own compositions. The Iranians who filled the 1,200-seat theater clapped and cheered. 

Representatives from 58 countries and international organizations, as well as 31 science ministers from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) states will meet in Tehran on Sunday. The meeting, hosted by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, will continue until Tuesday.

The likelihood that the Iran negotiations are reaching a make-or-break point was reinforced by President Obama on Monday when he told reporters: “I don’t see a further extension being useful” if the Iranians don’t agree by late March to a framework that shows the world “that they’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon. 

The decision to appoint a new envoy to the United Nations comes as nuclear talks between Iran and the United States and other major powers are coming under fire from U.S. congressional critics of Iran, who are pressing for the passage of new sanctions that the White House claims will torpedo the delicate negotiations.