Sunday September 22, 2013
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Wilkerson Report. Now joining us is Larry Wilkerson. He was the former chief of staff to Colin Powell and is an adjunct professor at William & Mary College. Thanks for being with us, Larry.
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: Good to be here.
DESVARIEUX: So, Larry, what we'd like to discuss this week is the Iranian government's attempts to thaw relations with the U.S. They've actually sent out Rosh Hashanah greetings to Jews. They've sent worldwide--they've released political prisoners, exchanged letters with President Obama, praised flexibility in negotiations, and transferred responsibility for nuclear negotiations from the conservatives in the military to the Foreign Ministry. So a lot of people are talking that this could be a real change of Iranian attitude. What do you make of this? Does this represent a real opening for a deal?
WILKERSON: I think so. I think putting Salehi into the Atomic Energy Organization and putting Zarif into the Foreign Ministry and giving the Foreign Ministry responsibility for negotiations are major moves and major signs that Iran is ready to seriously negotiate. I think President Obama has done the proper things. I think the exchange of letters probably, if we knew what those letters said, would cement this new opening. And I hope we go positively from here on. I know there are people arrayed across the spectrum in this country--and certainly there are similar people in Iran--who don't want negotiations to succeed, so it'll be a tough route. But I hope it shows some progress, and I hope it ultimately produces a diplomatic solution.