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Friday, September 20, 2013

Diplomacy Takes Center Stage In Iran And Syria Conflicts

Iranian President-elect Hasan Rowhani waves to media at the start of a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 17, 2013. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Iranian President-elect Hasan Rowhani waves to media at the start of a press conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 17, 2013. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Is there a “Nixon in China” moment shaping up with Iran and President Obama? That’s what the leader of the global civil society group Avaaz thinks, after recent news the U.S. and Iran are moving swiftly to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear weapons program.

That comes just as the international body to prohibit chemical weapons reported that Syria has sent in an “initial” outline of the country’s chemical arsenal, a move required by the U.S.- Russia brokered agreement that Syria give up all its chemical weapons.

The turn to diplomacy on both of these fronts comes suddenly, and just two weeks after Obama asked Congress to support a strike against Iran’s ally Syria over Syria’s chemical weapons.

White House officials conceded to The New York Times that they got this moment in the messiest way possible, but it is also a “head spinning” shift of fortunes for President Obama.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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