Iran’s Jewish community wrote an open letter to US President Barack Obama Monday urging him to seize the “unrepeatable” opportunity before him to bring the nuclear dispute with Iran to a close.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, called for a resolution now that a relative moderate — the recently elected Hassan Rouhani –was in power in Tehran.
“If the US and the international community do not make the best of this golden and perhaps unrepeatable opportunity, then it will be in the benefit of those who are against the normalization of ties between Iran and the US,” the letter, signed by Tehran’s Jewish community leader Homayoun Sameyah Najaf Abady, read.
“It would also make it easy for pessimists to doubt the good intentions of the US,” Abady wrote.
The letter comes a day before nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers — the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany — are due to commence in Geneva.
Iran has indicated it was willing to compromise on its disputed nuclear program, as biting Western sanctions have taken their toll on its economy.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the window for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program is “cracking open,” but that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran will suggest a series of proposals in Geneva aimed at scaling back these sanctions, including limiting its production of enriched uranium and operating centrifuges, opening its nuclear facilities to more thorough international inspections, and closing the enrichment facility near Qom.
But the Islamic Republic drew the line Sunday at shipping its enriched uranium to another country.
“We will negotiate regarding the form, amount, and various levels of (uranium) enrichment, but the shipping of materials out of the country is our red line,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi.
Reports of an Iranian willingness to compromise come amid an ostensible thawing in US-Iran relations in the wake of conciliatory gestures made by both sides at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York last month.
The mutual show of receptivity culminated in a historic, 15-minute phone conversation between Rouhani and Obama — the first direct high-level contact between the two countries in 34 years.