Next week Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani - a graduate of Glasgow's university system - is due to visit New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.
Following an exchange of letters between American President Barack Obama and Mr Rouhani, there is the distinct possibility the two men will meet in the first face-to-face encounter between a US and Iranian leader since the revolution in Teheran in 1979.
This time last year, during the rule of President Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, such a meeting would have been inconceivable. Given this previous bad blood, Mr Rouhani's credentials as a moderate within the Iranian political spectrum have been under scrutiny since his election in June.
Over the last few weeks, though, there have been signs Mr Rouhani is living up to positive expectations after the freeing of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh and 10 other political prisoners.
In the last few days these encouraging signs have been further endorsed by Mr Rouhani's remarks in a television interview, where he confirmed Tehran's readiness to negotiate with the West over Iran's controversial uranium enrichment programme and that the Islamic state would never build nuclear weapons.
Given Iran's long-time track record as a wily international political player, just what is going on here, and how much does Mr Rouhani's overtures chime with the overall political mood in Tehran's corridors of power?
To begin to understand what is unfolding, any analysis must first recognise Mr Rouhani is walking a political tightrope between two powerful yet distinct players in the shape of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and America.
According to observers at the American-based independent intelligence monitoring group Stratfor, Mr Rouhani realises he must garner foreign investors to improve the Iranian economy, but knows this will not happen without an agreement from Washington to ease its economic sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear programme.
Adding to Mr Rouhani's quandary is the internal battle he faces with the Revolutionary Guard Corps. The corps wields the kind of hefty economic clout in Iran it would be loathed to lose to foreign competitors without some kind of quid pro quo in place.
To circumvent this obstacle, Mr Rouhani will likely offer the corps guarantees of protecting its economic interest, but only as long as they do not interfere with his foreign policy agenda. Where Mr Rouhani has the edge over his two presidential predecessors in this, is that he has worked with the Guard Corps before. This experience, especially in terms of national security and foreign policy, gives Mr Rouhani a considerable advantage.
In other words, political pragmatism is the order of the day for Mr Rouhani and his allies. Nowhere, however, will this pragmatism be more tested than over the issue of Syria. Only last February, one conservative Iranian cleric called Syria "Iran's 35th province", such is the importance placed by some Iranians on its Syrian ally that has stood by Tehran since the 1979 revolution there.
Syria has also acted as Iran's crucial link to the Lebanese Shi'a Islamic militant group Hezbollah, that has become a key battlefield player in support of Syria's President Bashar- al Assad.
Faced with all these political dynamics both regional and internal, Mr Rouhani has his work cut out. They will doubtless weigh heavily on any talks that might take place between him and President Obama while he is in America.
What Mr Rouhani does have working in his favour though is that there is unquestionably a shift taking place beneath the surface of the Iranian regime itself.
According to Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, a renowned scholar and Iran watcher at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, Iran's conservative faction, which was defeated in the June presidential election, is now forced to compromise and open the political space to the old pragmatic guard.
This guard is led by former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his protégé, the current president, and - allied with former reformist president Mohammad Khatami - will prove crucial to Mr Rouhani's reforming efforts.
These men, says Mr Tabaar in a recent article in Foreign Policy magazine, are the group that brought Iran out of its devastating war with Iraq and then helped stabilise it.
The same group also previously helped improve relations with the international community and Mr Rouhani will doubtless be relying on their support to do the same again.
On the other side of Iran's internal political divide, of course, stands the chief commanders of the Revolutionary Guard Corps combined with the political block led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who remains very wary of Washington's motives and any dealings Mr Rouhani would have with President Obama.
These conservatives have pursued a resurgent hardline and ideological foreign policy from as far back as 2005 to the present. Uncompromising on the "Great Satan", as some of Iran's hardliners still view America, Mr Khamenei and his cadre have long argued nothing but "resistance" to Washington would bring the desired political and diplomatic result.
Such a take is in stark contrast to Mr Rouhani's insistence over the last few days in his interview with NBC News that Iran is not seeking war and wants the Middle East to have "rule by the will of the people".
Asked about that other thorny issue, Israel, Mr Rouhani, said: "We do not seek war with any country. We seek peace and friendship among the nations of the region."
Well meaning as his remarks perhaps are, they will no doubt be viewed with some scepticism in Jerusalem.
Whether the Glasgow-educated moderate, and his appointment of a largely pragmatic cabinet, has opened the door to a diplomatic solution to the 11-year international stand-off over Iran's nuclear programme remains to be seen.
Certainly, given his past governmental experience and his working relationship with the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mr Rouhani is in as good a position as any Iranian leader in years to forge new international diplomatic links while re-calibrating his own country's civil-military relations.
For the moment it is a small encouraging sign in an otherwise bleak Middle East political landscape.