Morning Brief: Reaching out to Iran
Top Story In an unusual diplomatic gambit, Barack Obama recorded a videotaped message to Iran, in honor of the Nowruz holiday, offering a “new day” for diplomatic relations between the two countries. “The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations,” Obama said. “You have ...
“The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations,” Obama said. “You have that right — but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization. And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create.”
A spokesman for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed the message but said the U.S. must begin “by fundamentally changing its behavior” such as its support for Israel.
Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is asking for two more weeks to form a coalition government so he can bring in more moderate parties.
Egypt briefly reopened its border with Gaza for two days.
Reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian political factions ended without a deal.
The U.S. House of Representatives quickly passed a bill to recoup AIG’s controversial bonuses with taxes.
The Obama administration pledged $5 billion in assistance to the U.S. auto industry.
In a first for a sitting president, Barack Obama sat down with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show last night.
The African Union decided to suspend Madagascar rather than recognize its post-coup government.
Pirates seized a Greek cargo ship off the coast of Somalia.
Somalia’s Islamist leaders say Osama bin Laden should mind his own business.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says new U.S. troop deployments are seven years too late.
Aaaand…North Korea closed its border again.
China has detained a soldier who expressed regret online about his role in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.
U.S. and Mexican officials will meet next month to discuss how to restrict the illegal gun trade between the two countries.
An arrest warrant has been issued for one of Hugo Chavez’s top political rivals.
Mexican tariffs on 89 U.S. products took effect.
3 million people marched against President Sarkozy’s planned economic reforms in France yesterday.
The EU is considering doubling the amount of emergency cash it has on hand to lend to struggling members.
Three former U.S. secretaries of state are in Russia to attempt to restart diplomacy.
David McNew/Getty Images
Joshua Keating is a former associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating
More from Foreign Policy
Was Henry Kissinger Really a Realist?
America’s most famous 20th century statesman wasn’t exactly what he claimed to be.
The 7 Reasons Iran Won’t Fight for Hamas
A close look at Tehran’s thinking about escalating the war in Gaza.
The Global Credibility Gap
No one power or group can uphold the international order anymore—and that means much more geopolitical uncertainty ahead.
What Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ Gets Wrong About War
The film’s ideas have poisoned military thinking for centuries.