Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rouhani the rockstar at UNGA 2013

Holding an electric guitar, wearing a leather jacket and a denim trouser, a pair of leather boots to match his leather belt and hair that reaches his shoulder, this is how I visualize Iranian President Rouhani after his rock-star performance at the United Nations General Assembly 2013 (UNGA).

President Rouhani goes with an agenda to UNGA to break away from sanctions imposed on his country that has almost taken a toll on the economic progress of the country and its people. Social media may not be freely used in Iran, but President Rouhani tweets every day. How strange is that? I follow Rouhani on Twitter and at least on Twitter he appears to be a peace loving and kind-hearted gentleman who wants to give peace a chance. Good for him and good for bringing peace in the troubled region.

Although UNGA’s are about world leaders, it ended up becoming a stage on which President Rouhani played the lead actor. The spotlight was on him all through. President Rouhani also grabbed away the spotlight from Mr. Cool like a cucumber President Barack Obama at UNGA this year.

President Rouhani was smart enough to set the stage before his departure to New York for the UNGA. He used social media quite effectively to be heard world over. He writes saying "Constructive approach=Engagement on equal footing to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives." Sanctions has separated Iran from the rest of the world to which Rouhani tweets, "We must work together to end the unhealthy rivalries and interferences that fuel violence and drive us apart."

Well, must say Twitter worked for Rouhani. World leaders read his tweets. The United Nations felt comfortable that it was dealing with a softer moderate leader from Iran unlike the previous guy who didn’t battle a wink. How I can’t forget what former Iranian President did just before his term ended. He sent a cute little monkey named "Pishgam" into space, marking Tehran's plan to send an astronaut into space very soon. All that said I was happy to know that Pishgam returned back on earth safely. He is so cute!

There were no diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States for over 30 years now. There isn’t any bad blood between people of both the countries. It is only the lack of diplomacy that has not brought the two countries even in talking terms with each other. But President Rouhani seems-to, I mean "seems-to" want to change that cold war of silence between his country and the United States. But really, nobody knows how this story will end. Whether it will have a happy ending, is something we’ll have to wait and watch.

Spectators had their eyes stuck on both President Obama and President Rouhani at the UNGA 2013. Will these presidents shake hands for the first time after over three decades was the question on everybody’s mind?  Eventually, they didn’t hug, they didn’t shake hands, they didn’t hi-fi, nor did they show each other the cool sign of horns or peace. Sigh!

Iran is an ally of many middle-eastern countries and a good relationship with it can help bring peace in the region. Besides gas prices will drop to a great extent if import embargoes are removed. It’s a win-win situation completely and the United Nations should make the most of this hand of friendship extended by President Rouhani. 

From a larger perspective, the world has become such an unsafe place to live in. Groups of extremists are promoting intolerance and terrorism across the world. Even more, these groups cash in the rivalries between nations. And the only way to defeat these groups is by staying united and sharing intelligence. 


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