Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's UN speech was nothing more than a public relations stunt, according to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mr Rouhani told the UN General Assembly that Iran’s nuclear programme posed no threat, and that sanctions imposed against his country violated its human rights. He added that his wished to engage with the West to ease tensions.
“Charm offensive” is the hackneyed phrase used in recent weeks to describe the intensive PR campaign being waged by Tehran on the Western media.
Small wonder that the office of Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not resist responding with a cliche of his own about Iran spinning the press and spinning centrifuges that enrich uranium.
US President Barack Obama will meet Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House this month to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme.
The meeting, which will take place in Washington on September 30, is expected to address Iran’s uranium fields, the ongoing crisis in Syria and two-state solution peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has told the JC that Labour has not changed its position on Iran, despite party figures repeatedly suggesting Britain should “reach out” to officials in Tehran.
He said the party remained committed to a “twin-track approach of sanctions and diplomacy”.
The Iranian charm offensive that began with the election of Hassan Rouhani as president three months ago took a bizarre twist last week with a series of Rosh Hashanah greetings tweeted by the new president and his foreign minister. Meanwhile, diplomats are preparing new rounds of nuclear talks.
It did not take long for the conservative news site Tasnim in Tehran to report David Cameron’s Commons defeat. The same article, published the day after the vote, relished the fact that this was the first time since 1782 that any British prime minister failed to win a vote on an issue of peace or war.