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NY meeting golden opportunity for Iran-US de-escalation

While Iran and the United States are presenting clashing narratives of who organized the meeting in New York on Sept. 20, the session presents a golden opportunity for de-escalation between the two sides.
U.S. President Donald Trump talks beside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during their meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium, May 24, 2017.       REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1CB7B8B640

After months of escalating hostile rhetoric about the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to sit down next week for his first face-to-face encounter with Mohammad Javad Zarif, his Iranian counterpart. The two sides will meet in New York Sept. 20 at a ministerial-level meeting of the Joint Commission, the body established by the nuclear deal to resolve disputes among its signatories.

The Trump administration’s hawkish tack has predictably prompted a defiant Iranian response, albeit limited by President Hassan Rouhani’s pledge that Iran won’t be the first to violate the deal. But beyond the general irritation Iran has with the US rhetoric, Tillerson in particular has ruffled feathers in Tehran.

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