Damn, that's new. I thought NASA was about space travel, not touchy feely relations with a hostile culture. I mean we have the State Dept and the Peace Corp, and a raft of non governmental organizations all just so eager to improve US relations with the whole world. I think NASA should concentrate on space exploration and let the touchy feely stuff go to agencies that do that sort of thing full time.
Kennedy started up NASA to get the the moon, ahead of the Russians. NASA was supremely successful in this task. Once accomplished, NASA turned to building and then operating the Space Shuttle, Hubble Space Telescope, and a bunch of interplanetary missions. Shuttle being the big end of the stick. Trouble is, Shuttle turned out to be dangerous to fly, and expensive to boot. So the Shuttle is going away, and NASA doesn't have anything to do.
NASA tried to build a new ground to orbit system based on a brand new rocket and a great big capsule. They could have bought working rockets from Space X, Lockheed and Boeing, but instead squandered their funding on a brand new design. Obama hasn't decided what NASA should do in the space exploration business, so he has drafted them into the world wide PR campaign.
I liked it better when NASA did space travel.