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Iran talks: Why time is ripe for compromise

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Another encouraging sign is the reappointment of Hashemi Rafsanjani, the symbol of pragmatism in the Iranian body politic, as the head of Expediency Council, the body that advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It was the supreme leader who reappointed Mr. Rafsanjani, despite overt enmity against him expressed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the last seven years.

The leader’s hailing of Rafsanjani for all his endeavors came at a time when Rafsanjani recalled a sensitive letter he drafted to the leader of the 1979 Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a couple of years before his demise. The letter spoke of the need to resolve relations between Iran and the US  and also improve relations with Saudi Arabia, not only for mutual oil policies but also for regional peace and tranquility.

These are important signals from the Iranian side, sent at the highest level.

In the US, President Obama asserts that Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear technology. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton affirmatively reflects on the religious decree of Ayatollah Khamenei against the production and use of nuclear weapons. Mrs. Clinton has urged Iran to translate its religious belief into active government policy – including allowing inspections and exchanging some of Iran's enriched uranium for fuel for its research reactor.

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