Several days ago a man with a neatly trimmed beard wearing a white turban, and professorial-looking rimless glasses featured prominently in Davos. Was it really Hassan Rouhani? Of course Rouhani is Iran's current Ayatollah-sanctioned President and should have every good reason to be at such a prestigious forum; however the man addressing Davos appeared only to share the real Rouhani's appearance.
Nuclear apocalypse has been avoided. Iran has agreed to curb its nuclear activity. That's what they tell us anyway. Let's not get ahead of ourselves; even if Iran's cooperation is genuine, world leaders and their Iranian counterparts are not about to hold hands, hug it out or start tweeting funny cat memes to each other.
The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Iran is set to travel to Tehran this week. If it goes ahead as planned, this will be the first official visit by the parliament to Iran in 6 years. The parliament's governing body last month authorized a 10-member delegation to travel to Iran from 12-17 December.
I can't help wondering what six Kurdish men currently facing execution in Ghezel Hesar Prison near Tehran might think of the praise being heaped on Rouhani? Like numerous other condemned prisoners in Iran, they face the gallows after being convicted of vaguely-worded offences, including "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth".
The eyes of the world are focused on the UN in New York this week in an amazing turnabout in international politics. We could have been in the midst of a Middle East war with the US and France having attacked Syria, triggering resumed fighting across the border of southern Lebanon and Israel. Instead, the UN is back on centre stage, the Security Council is functioning again, and its five permanent powers are in a constructive dialogue over chemical weapons in Syria for the first time in two and a half years.
You have to hand it to the new Iranian President. The Washington Post op ed, the NBC interview. Ahead of Rouhani's much anticipated visit to New York for the UN General Assembly, he's got the world singing his tunes. All the right buzz words are there: "peace and stability among all nations", "win-win game", "friendship and dialogue."
I used to argue that it would make a welcome change if - just occasionally - politicians answered a question with the words: "I don't know." I didn't expect the President of the United States to take me seriously. Should the US launch a military strike against Syria? Obama: Don't know. Is Russia serious in its chemical weapons initiative? Don't know. There's a part of me that welcomes such refreshing candour. But to be honest, it's only a very small part of me.
Despite Rouhani's friendly statements to the West, his statements about them have painted a different picture. His first bilateral meeting as president was with the head of North Korea's People's Assembly, to whom he expressed the view that the West was seeking an excuse for confrontation with countries it doesn't like over the nuclear issue.