Why Iran Needs to Talk Directly With the U.S.

The day is nearing for discussions to take place in Moscow, but there is one direct-to-direct discussion that really should happen: Iran and America. According to reports, Washington is prepared to listen.

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

According to reports, Iranian officials have not tried to talk with American counterparts directly. The opportunity presented itself on previous occasions, two in Istanbul (January 2011 and April 2012) and one in Baghdad (May 2012)—but Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili “was under direct instructions to avoid a bilateral meeting with his American counterpart.” Those instructions were viewed as a disastrous mistake, and many in Washington have reportedly turned a deaf ear to Iran. Now, only two U.S. Senior officials will “seriously consider” Iranian concerns. The only direct communication Iran and the U.S. had is back in 2009, Jalili and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns had a productive meeting. The U.S. interests are not only in Iran's nuclear program, but rather a range of diplomatic issues. The opportunity has come around, yet again, but if Iran negotiators do not step up to make a discussion happen with Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in Moscow—then The Obama Administration will “continue to doubt Tehran’s sincerity in negotiations,” and no one in Washington will listen to Iran.

What’s the Big Idea?

Iran must not continue to avoid direct talks with its American counterpart. The tension between America and Iran has already fueled talks of a possible war, and with the upcoming election decision makers need to take advantage of the opportunity to “do its part in untangling the mutual demonization driving the conflict.” A high-level Iran and American discussion can encourage the success of diplomacy. As Washington prepares for talks in Moscow, Sherman is all ears and ready to explore all options for potential agreement.   

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less