U.S. takes wait-and-see stance on Iran's new president
June 17th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

U.S. takes wait-and-see stance on Iran's new president

By Jill Dougherty

The U.S. State Department said Monday it wasn't surprised that Iran's newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should stay in power until 2014.

"We have a number of differences with Iran, and the leadership there, over Syria and the path forward," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. "We've expressed on a number of occasions our concerns about their recent aid to the regime and the influx of foreign fighters, and specifically Hezbollah."

The United States and other Western nations are working on how to help the rebels in Syria's brutal, two-year civil war as the al-Assad government receives backing from Iran and Russia.

During his election campaign, Rouhani supported more moderate policies inside Iran and constructive engagement with other countries. But in his first news conference over the weekend, he stuck by al-Assad and insisted Iran would not revive its moratorium on uranium enrichment from a decade ago, saying , "This period is over."

Psaki said the United States will not offer anything new to Iran in nuclear talks at this point, adding that the six countries negotiating with Tehran are "ready to meet with Iran when Iran is ready to respond substantively to the balanced proposal put forward by the P5+1 in Almaty (Kazakhstan)." The six countries and Iran last met in April.

"We haven't seen a substantive response yet," she added.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, she said, "holds the nuclear portfolio, and ... we have not had expectations leading up to this election that that would change."

Psaki noted that Rouhani made several promises during his election campaign but said: "The question is, what happens moving forward? And we will see."

"He does not take office until August, so it's too early to say what his policies will be. We look forward to him and are hopeful that he will fulfill the campaign promises he made to the Iranian people, such as expanding personal freedoms, releasing political prisoners and improving Iran's relations with the international community, but time will tell."

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Sounds very much like Neville Chamberlains strategy

    July 22, 2013 at 10:12 am | Reply
  2. Bob T

    US takes "Wait and see stance" Kind of like Pelosis's wait and see whats in the Unaffordable Care Act?
    Is our Government so naive?

    June 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  3. HPD

    He isn't the real power he is a spokes person and we shall see what comes of it. Im always optimistic about change but wont hold my breath.

    June 18, 2013 at 5:44 am | Reply
  4. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    June 18, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply
    • HPD

      Instead of posting the same thing over and over, how about explaining your views a bit.

      June 18, 2013 at 6:14 am | Reply
    • Change Iran Now

      What a drone for the same typical anti-American crap. Let's deal with the here and now which is that Khamenei runs Iran absolutely and Rouhani is just a front man for a theocracy bent on exporting its brand of Islamic-led government which is completely incompatible with a pluralistic, free democratic society. The recent brutal attack on Camp Liberty in Iraq is just another sign how things really are not going to change after the Iranian elections. Even with the election of a so-called “moderate,” these acts of violence against Iranian dissident groups, even those outside of Iran, shows the world how truly committed this regime is to pounding into dust any voice of dissent. It’s ridiculous think that Rouhani’s election will later Iranian foreign policy which is under the sole control of the Supreme Leader (or in this case nut job in chief) Khamenei. To see real efforts at changing the regime, check out irangathering.com for the largest meeting of Iranians outside of Iran.

      June 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Reply

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