Hassan Rouhani

Right-wingers here and abroad hate it. But they also hated it when Reagan struck deals with Gorbachev—and the parallels are pretty clear

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Understanding both is key to a potentially enduring solution to the snagged negotiations.

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On the possibilities of negotiating with Iran—and the tricky work of letting allies know we're serious about stopping Tehran's nukes

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"Israel Doesn’t Need America on D-Day"

A leading voice of restraint is starting to worry about Iran

"I supported [Netanyahu and Barak] on the notion that if we come to the fork in the road [on Iran], where we have to choose between very tough alternatives—the ‘bomb’ or the ‘bombing’—I’m with the prime minister, for the bombing,” former Israeli defense-intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told me on a recent evening on the porch of his home in the small town of Carmay Yosef. It was a bold statement coming from a man who in 2010 reportedly helped persuade Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak not to strike Iran.

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Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani has revived talks with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany over its nuclear program.

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The call, now heard around the world, made Friday by President Barack Obama from the Oval Office to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, as he was stuck in New York City traffic on his way to the airport, has at least for the moment ended a tumultuous 34-year-old estrangement between the two countries, a estrangement only occasionally broken by discreet mid-level meetings between the two countries’ representatives, or “back-channel” encounters. 

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Imagine that a company or some other kind of organization with a history of believing that the world is flat appoints a new CEO who is more open to alternative beliefs about the shape of the world. “The world is not flat,” he says. But he doesn’t then say: “In fact, the world is a globe with a circumference of 24,901 miles.” He says: “I don’t know whether it is a globe. Maybe it is. Or maybe it is curved. Maybe it is jagged, like one of its many mountain ranges. Maybe it dips, like a crater. Maybe it is a series of steps hurtling through the cosmos. I am not qualified to judge.”

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Iran's new president is headed to New York this week. Americans should be optimistic.

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Maybe the Jewish New Year really has ushered in the positive change it’s supposed to represent. Over the past few days, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and foreign minister, Mohammah Javad Zarif, took to Twitter to wish the world a happy Rosh Hashanah.

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Hassan Rouhani, a man of ferocious pragmatism and an unfailing ability to find and align himself with the center of power in Iran’s labyrinthine political structure, was sworn in Sunday as the seventh president.

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