Gary Sick is a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Middle East Institute and an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs.

Iran Opens Its Fist

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations, New York, September 24, 2013

He came to New York. He saw almost everyone. Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president, may not have conquered, but at least he seems to have persuaded John Kerry and Barack Obama that his proposals for negotiating an end to the US-Iran conflict deserve to be taken seriously. When President Obama picked up his phone in the Oval Office on Friday to bid farewell to President Rouhani with the Persian phrase Khodahafez (“God be with you”), there was the sense that a tectonic shift between Washington and Tehran was taking place.