|20 signs Iran is serious about a nuclear deal: article||
TEHRAN – An article published on a Foreign Policy blog on Thursday enumerates 20 signs which show that the Iranian government is serious about rapprochement and reform as well as the settlement of the dispute over the country’s nuclear program.
Following are the 20 points mentioned in the article:
1. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledges that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.
2. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorses diplomacy with the West, saying it is time for his country to adopt a posture of "heroic leniency."
3. Rouhani takes to the Washington Post to urge his "counterparts to seize the opportunity presented by Iran’s recent election" and to announce that his government is ready "to help facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition."
4. French President François Hollande announces that he will meet with Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
5. Iran frees 11 prominent political prisoners, including the human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
6. Rouhani and President Obama exchange a series of letters that the Iranian leader says "could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future."
7. Rouhani gives his widely respected foreign minister, Javad Zarif, responsibility for handling the country's nuclear negotiations.
8. Shortly after winning control of the nuclear portfolio, Zarif opens a Twitter account and uses it to wish Jews a happy new year...
9. Rouhani also tweets a Rosh Hashanah greeting to the world's Jews, wishing them a "blessed" new year. (The only Jewish member of the Iranian parliament is also accompanying Rouhani to the UN General Assembly.)
10. The Iranian government eases the terms of the house arrest imposed on two opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, as Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, decides that their cases will be taken up by the country's Supreme National Security Council.
11. Rouhani signals he may be open to easing restrictions on the Internet, saying that "in the age of digital revolution, one cannot live or govern in a quarantine."
12. Iranian Internet users are briefly able to access Twitter and Facebook without having to bypass the government firewall, though the services are quickly restricted a day later...
13. Rouhani says he would like to reduce tensions between the United States and Iran, calling the strained relationship "an old wound, which must be healed."
14. Rouhani calls for negotiations to end the impasse over his country's nuclear program, but emphasizes that the United States must take the first step.
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