Iranian Elections: New Hope for a Diplomatic Resolution

June 17, 2013

J Street Director of Government Affairs Dylan Williams made the following statement today regarding the results of the presidential election in Iran:

The election of Hojjatoleslam Doctor Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s next president is a potentially hopeful sign for those, like J Street, who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a very serious threat to the United States, Israel and the world, and who seek a diplomatic resolution which ensures that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons.

As on many other issues, Iranian presidents are not the sole or most senior decision-makers regarding their country’s nuclear program. Yet, despite a greatly constrained political process and environment which fell far short of international standards for free and fair elections, the Iranian people expressed their will by electing a candidate who ran on a platform of constructively reengaging with the international community, including the United States. Early reports that Doctor Rouhani has already indicated an interest in renewing direct talks with the US and the other Members of the P5+1 present a possible opportunity that must not be missed.

J Street therefore welcomes the White House’s reiteration that the “United States remains ready to engage the Iranian government directly in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.” We also urge US elected officials, while continuing to apply sanctions and other pressure calibrated to maximize the prospects for Iranian compliance with its nuclear obligations, to refrain from provocative actions or rhetoric which could jeopardize the opening for a diplomatic resolution that may have widened with Doctor Rouhani’s election.