Rouhani key for Iran’s nuclear deadlock

My short anaysis on Iran’s new nulcear diplomacy for the BBC:

Iran’s new president is sending clear messages to the West that he is keen to solve deadlock in the nuclear talks. He has reshuffled top officials dealing with Iran’s controversial atomic programme and appointed seasoned Western-educated diplomats who are known for being pragmatic technocrats.

That was why many were eagerly awaiting who would be appointed by the president as the Secretary of the National Security Council to lead the nuclear negotiations. But Hassan Rouhani surprised many by saying that the foreign ministry would take over future talks with world powers. That means Mr Rouhani believes Iran’s nuclear stand-off with the West is simply a diplomatic rift that should be solved under his direct supervision.

The former President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was widely blamed for the way he handled the nuclear issue, but he said repeatedly that nuclear policies were decided by the National Security Council and ultimately by the Supreme Leader. Now by bringing the negotiations directly under his supervision, Hassan Rouhani is making a big gamble. If the talks fail again, he alone will shoulder the responsibility.

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