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Did the city of love mend ties between the U.S. and Iran?

Paris is the city of love and the surroundings could very well help to normalize relations between Iran and the United States

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

Published: Updated:

People usually go to Paris to fall in love. Paris is the city of love and the surroundings could very well help to normalize relations between Iran and the United States if the fairy tales are to be believed.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry went to Paris almost two weeks ago for a brief visit. However, opponents in both countries hounded the officials.

One conservative MP from Tehran said on Sunday that Zarif walked with “John Kerry-e-Jani” for 15 minutes and no one stopped them.

It seems as though Obama wants to give Iran as much guarantee as possible that new sanctions will not be levied against it

Camelia Entekhabi-Fard

“Jani” in Persian can be read at two ways: The dearest and also the murderer. It seems clear to me which one he was alluding to.

Iran’s state-owned Kayahn newspaper posted an editorial article entitled “Beyond improper,” referring to Zarif’s Paris visit when, in the newspaper’s opinion, the city seemed to stand against Muslims after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

In the U.S.

For his part, President Obama warned the U.S. Congress and lawmakers not to trigger new sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program while the talks are ongoing.

Obama told the U.S. lawmakers that he would veto any new bills pertaining to sanctions on Iran. He said such a move would upset diplomatic talks and increase the likelihood of a military conflict with Tehran.

According to the interim agreement reached in Geneva on November 2013 between Iran and the P5+1 ( five permanent members of the U.N. security council plus Germany) new sanctions should not be imposed while the talks are in progress.

Simply, any new sanctions could be used as a tool for Iran to break the talks and resume its advanced nuclear program regardless of its consequences.

Acknowledging this, it seems as though Obama wants to give Iran as much guarantee as possible that new sanctions will not be levied against it, even if he has to confront Congress.

The nuclear negotiators are showing hope that progress can be made by March 2015 in order to finalizing the comprehensive nuclear deal.

This article was first published in al-Hayat on January 29, 2015.

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Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFard

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