Iran breakthrough possible with new president, former ambassador Taylor says
A diplomatic breakthrough between the West and Iran could be in sight, says the man who served as Canada's ambassador in Tehran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, The Canadian Press reported.
Ken Taylor called Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, a "remarkable man" who is both familiar with the West and has the trust of his country's top Islamic clerics.
He went on to note that, "At this moment - I think without sounding too naive or forgetting about the Iranian performance up to now - we could be on the brink of a breakthrough."
"This is somebody who appears to have the mandate of the supreme leader. He knows the West, just as well as the rest of us."
Scotland-educated Rouhani has sent good wishes to Israel, whereas his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "just threatened to send a bomb," Taylor said.
It's possible Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama could run into each other in the United Nations in New York next week, Taylor said, adding improving relations with Iran would be a boon to Obama's last two years in office.
Taylor said there's a "lack of mutual trust" when it comes to talks between Iran and Western nations, but he says he hopes new negotiations won't be held back by past failures.