By Pepe Escobar
September 19, 2013
Asia Times Online.com

The stage is set. By now it’s established Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has given full authority to the new administration of President Hassan Rouhani to talk directly to Washington about Iran’s nuclear program.

This happened only a few days after US President Barack Obama leaked that letters had been exchanged between himself and Rouhani.

Rouhani’s empowerment was first confirmed later last week by extremely credible former nuclear negotiator ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian in this op-ed published in Japan. Mousavian was Rouhani’s deputy in Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) from 1997 to 2005. Then Rouhani himself expanded on it this Wednesday in an interview with NBC.

It’s crucial to consider the Supreme Leader’s exact position. This past Tuesday, he addressed the elite of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran. [1] The key quote: “We don’t accept nuclear weapons, not for the sake of the US or others, but because of our beliefs, and when we say that no one should have nuclear weapons, certainly we are not after them either.”

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