President Obama had a telephone conversation with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the first time any communication has occurred between the American and Iranian heads of state since 1979, and plans to start negotiations with Iran, he confirmed to reporters Friday.
“I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution,” Obama said. “We’re mindful of all the challenges ahead. The very fact that this was the first communication between an American and Iranian president since 1979 underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution.”
Rouhani has been striking a more conciliatory tone than his predecessor, telling the world that Iran does not desire nuclear weapons and that diplomacy can produce a “win-win” solution, though he didn’t speak to the president when they had the chance at the U.N. General Assembly this week.