10/01/2013, 00.00
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Tehran - Washington, Rouhani aims to restart direct flights

The new president moves to restore the air route closed since 1979. Hundreds gather to welcome him home in Iran on his return from New York. Isolated protests from radical Islamists, but the Pasdaran warn: "U.S. hostility can not be forgotten after a phone call ."

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - If the phone calls between Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani continue along the lines of that of Friday 27 September, the Iranians residing in America will soon be able to fly to Tehran without having to make stopovers . "President Rouhani asked to explore the possibility of a direct flight between Iran and the United States - Akbar Torkan , head of the Supreme Council for Iranian expatriates reported yesterday - the decision is intended to facilitate the return home of our countrymen who live in America. "

In the wake of the encouraging dialogue initiated at the UN in recent days and the historic phone call with U.S. President Barack Obama , Ayatollah Hassan Rouhani (who returned to Iran September 28 ) asked officials to study the rehabilitation of the Tehran - Washington flight, which has been closed for the last 34 years. The measure, the news of which was broadcast by Iranian agencies yesterday afternoon, aims to facilitate contacts with the homeland to over 400 thousand Iranians residing in the United States .

Returning from the General Assembly of the United Nations , Hassan Rouhani was greeted with enthusiasm at Mehrbad airport in Tehran, where hundreds of supporters gathered to express contentment and approval before the resumption of diplomatic dialogue with Washington. Among the crowd outside the terminal however were also some young critics, especially from the ranks of radical Islamist groups, many of whom tried to express disappointment chanting slogans such as "Death to America ."

Statements supported by leaders of the Revolutionary Guards who are trying to stop the wave of enthusiasm that is sweeping up the international press and the most moderate of the population : "U.S. hostility can not be forgotten with a phone call or a smile ," said general Amir -Ali Hadjizadeh , commander in chief of the Pasdaran .

In addition to the debate within the international community, the will for dialogue expressed by the president is receiving mixed reactions within Iran itself . If a good portion of the population, oppressed by the sanctions imposed on the country since 2006, hopes that the resumption of relations with the West could lead to significant economic benefits, the staunchest Islamic front , consisting of the Guardians of the Revolution, continue to show skepticism and disapproval.

In the days prior to Rouhani's departure for New York, the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had ordered the same Pasdaran not to interfere with the foreign policy of President -elect , the latter suggesting a line of " heroic flexibility " in the talks at the ' UN . The Supreme Leader had echoed the same Rouhani , asking the Guardians of the Revolution " stay out of politics and be a force for peace ."


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