Iran’s new president spurned a meeting with President Barack Obama Sept. 24, despite repeated invites from Obama’s staff.
“What we indicated is, again, what we’ve been saying publicly, which is we’re open to the two leaders having an encounter here at UNGA, not a formal meeting,” a White House officials told reporters at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, on Sept. 24.
“We had discussions at a working level with them and ultimately it became clear that that was too complicated for them at this time,” the official admitted.
Obama had hoped to meet Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president. He was elected to the post after being nominated by the top layer of Iran’s theocratic government, the Guardian Council.
However, the Iranians have long frustrated U.S. pressure against its nuclear weapons program, and are successfully working with Russia to frustrate Obama’s effort to depose Syria’s dictatorial government.
Iran also supplied weapons to Iraq insurgents from 2005 to 2010, helping persuade Obama to withdraw U.S. soldiers from the country, even after the insurgents were defeated in 2007.
The United States is the world’s only superpower, with an annual income of almost $16 trillion, a large military and nuclear force, and immense financial and cultural clout that comes from its free and democratic culture.
Iran is a theocracy, whose military has bloodily suppressed democracy protestors, and whose annual income has shrunk well below $800 billion, partly because of U.S.-led economic sanctions.
However, Iran’s leaders are clever and are determined to advanced Iran’s national and theological interests in the region. To advance those interests, they have killed thousands of Iraqis, Americans, Syrians and Israelis over the last 20 years, partly via its funding of various rebels, terrorists and jihadis in Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Israel.
Iran is now developing a nuclear force, and has shrugged off more than a decade of pestering from U.S. and European diplomats.