Obama Talks With Iranian President; First Direct Talks Since 1979

Exchange comes as the countries eye a possible diplomatic solution to their years-long standoff over Iran's nuclear program

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Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the parliament, in Tehran, Aug. 15, 2013.

President Barack Obama spoke with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani, on the phone Friday afternoon, marking the first time leaders from the two countries have spoken directly in more than three decades.

Their exchange comes as both countries eye a diplomatic solution to their years-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. “I do believe that there is a basis for resolution,” Obama said from the White House Briefing Room. “Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. President Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons. I’ve made clear that we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy in the context of Iran meeting its obligations.”

It was the first direct contact between an American and Iranian president since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, something Obama said “underscores the deep mistrust between our countries” but “also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history.”

The two leaders previously traded letters, and considered a face-to-face meeting at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week. Obama administration officials said Tuesday that a meeting “proved to be too complicated for the Iranians to do at this point.” On Friday, Iranian officials told their American counterparts that Rouhani was open to speaking with Obama before he returned to Iran.  A senior administration official said the call took place shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon and lasted roughly 15 minutes. While the bulk of the call focused on the nuclear issue, the official added that Obama noted the United States’ concern about three American citizens who have been held within Iran. The official described the call as “cordial,” saying Obama opened the call by congratulating Rouhani on his recent election.

In his remarks, Obama said a negotiated settlement “could also serve as a major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.” But the president added that the road ahead is not simple. “A path to a meaningful agreement will be difficult,” Obama said. “And at this point both sides have significant concerns that will have to be overcome. But I believe we’ve got a responsibility to pursue diplomacy and that we have a unique opportunity to make progress with the new leadership in Tehran.”

According to the senior administration official, Obama said goodbye to Rouhani in Farsi after the Iranian president said goodbye in English.

The Iranians provided their own recap of the phone conversation on Rouhani’s Twitter page:

White House photographer Pete Souza later tweeted this image of Obama on the phone with Rouhani:

29 comments
mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

For someone the GOP keeps crying is weak on diplomacy, Obama sure seems to have a lot of firsts. Wonder what President "Bomb, Bomb Iran" McCain would have done instead?

AMiller
AMiller

Real progress, good stuff, keep it coming.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

Is somebody interested in watching an important video for the knowledge of many, many Americans? Here we go, " http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uijk81d7bJs", Be patiente and  lose some minutes of your life and you are not going to regret if you love your country.

Gadea
Gadea

I am so proud of our president, President Obama, for having the decency, courage, to speak directly to

the  President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.

Obama bucked the Kristol's, neocons of the world, that want Obama to

drag the us into yet another war that is not in our interest.

10 Thumbs up for Obama.



jsfox
jsfox

And Boehner got all pouty about it . . .

"Boehner's press office also noted, after Obama also announced he had held a historic phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, that the president had not called Boehner this week."



Openminded1
Openminded1

@Gadea Oh please you give that muslim racist way to much credit it is all Bs and the middle east is laughing at the muslim and his weakness to appease . It sounds good it looks good to bleeding hearts but it will hurt us in the end. think Trojan  Horse.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jsfox Obama also talks to Louis Farrakann too is that historic since no other President has given him the time of day. But what the hell two muslims a lot in common.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jsfox Ah Fly boy, I am sure it was an interesting conversation, Obama talking to the Iranian President who is not the bottom line in that country. I am  sure the small talk was effective and Obama kissed his ass and the Iranian people will get to hear about and all have a good laugh at the most disrespected president in many years. most of you libs will think it is progress , but it is bs they know he is alame duck and a muslim moron.

greyngold
greyngold

@Openminded1 @Gadea Trolololol. The only person anyone is laughing at is you and your pathetic inability to write. Good job, you wonderful, wonderful american.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@Openminded1 @jsfox Openminded, this, I hope, is my last post to you, since is impossible to deal with somebody that hates so much. I imagine that your hatred is because of the way in which Obama save your capitalist system and recover so many jobs already lost and not for the color of his skin, which maybe you resent so much, that you share with your president. 

You see, mr openminded, your president could be an atheist, an orthodox Christian, a catholic as was JFK, or a muslim as you falsely accuse Obama, or of any fath,  but if you have read your Constitution properly, you are going to be surprised to learn that in no place in it, one of the demands to become a president is to have any type of religious faith or no one at all.

  Soothe your hatred, and cheer for your president and wish him well for having chosen the road of peace and not the Bush road.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@Openminded1 @jsfox mr policeman, you are foaming at your mouth. To be disrespected by the like as you, I am pretty sure, is a big honour to Obama.

  " Don Quixote, don Quixote, the dogs are barking!",

   " Sancho, my dear Sancho, let them bark, it is a signal that we are advancing".

jsfox
jsfox

@Openminded1 @jsfox You really do not know a thing,do you about Hassan Rouhani and his place within the Iranian leadership over the years.

And you keep saying the most disrespected President as if it was true.  (Totally forgetting who was President before Obama) I have met some clueless people when it comes to foreign policy. but you sparky take the prize.

greyngold
greyngold

@Openminded1 @greyngold @Gadea Aw poor troll. Looks like I struck a nerve.

Its alright. I don't need you to know I'm laughing my ass off at your worthless, pathetic, white-supremacist ass for it to be fun. Ignorant worthless morons like you just hold me, and everyone else, back. 

You best hope that history judges you better than I do.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@greyngold @Openminded1 @Gadea Bet american then you will ever be, served my country in Vietnam and my community as a police officer what have you know wimp besides open you pansy ass mouth, serving the Salvation army is not serving your country so do not count that in your limited resume.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@greyngold @Openminded1 @Gadea You must be another muslim or bleeding heart liberal. No one is laughing ass wipe they are just getting there feelings hurt because i do not like Obama or trust him and any muslim for that matter. You are new on here dumb ass and your writing is not impressive. When you can type moron 125 words a minute then let me know how accurate your punctuation is. On till then ass wipe you are out of your league. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@RamonRoman @Openminded1 @jsfox I did and it was boring and nothing new or has anything to do with Obama. I know all about jews as well and the issues with them. I do not care for them and the bs either.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@RamonRoman @Openminded1 @jsfox I watch the rather boring video ramon  and did not learn anything I did not all ready know. I am 63 ramon I have been around long enough to know and have heard about all the players in most of the wars and there reasons. I also know the constitution and could careless abut his religion what I care about is his lying about it. You say he is not a muslim because he has not admitted to it. yet is whole family is muslim birds of  feather flock together. You keep on saying I hate him, your wrong i just do not like him or trust him i wish him no ill , he is an intelligent, articulate, educated charming guy, who is also a con man like most charming people are and he knows if he admitted to being a Muslim dummy he would not be President. If you can not think that is possiable you are not has intelligent as I give you credit for. So it is not hatred it is disapproval and as I have said many times I respect the Oval office, but do not have to respect the man in it. And so far he has done nothing for the capitalist and jobs you once aagin give him to much credit that fell in to his lap due to timing not because he his a good President.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@Openminded1 @RamonRoman @jsfox I swear it, this is the last one. As a law enforcement man, I am pretty sure that you know the law more than the average of your compatriots. Now, let's suppose that Obama in one of those moments of being gracious, he confesses that yes, he is a muslim. Now, answer me, or ask any of your lawyer friends, Is this impeachable?  If is not, Why don't you stop your nonsense?  I assure you that is not impeachable

Openminded1
Openminded1

@RamonRoman @Openminded1 @jsfox Stupid you are not Ramon and you and I know that, Naive yes stupid no. you are forgiven. I make many errors far more then you do to the speed of my typing.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@RamonRoman @Openminded1 @jsfox Very prolific Ramon and fairly nice come back. I am too for peace as a man who served his country in a horrible war in Vietnam and felt war first hand. My opinion is the middle east is not to be trusted it is ok to talk diplomacy i am not opposed to that. I am not sold on Obama and I know he is a muslim hiding behind the Oval office. Time as I have stated will tell. I support the Oval office I just do not think the man in it now is someone that is capable or trusting.

RamonRoman
RamonRoman

@Openminded1 @RamonRoman @jsfox Openminded, I am disappointed in you. You see, sometimes errors are intentional when there are important messages to convey, as the link that I put above. Please, my friend, because in spite of our different points of view, the only thing we want is a world of peace, as your president is trying to achieve through diplomacy. Spelling is nothing, nothing if I touch, not a nerve, but one little spot in your brain.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jsfox @Openminded1 By the way flyboy I did not forget Bush W. the moron he is, the middle east did not like him but they feared him and fear is a form of respect. In Obamas case no one fears him or respects an easy to handle push over. this country has to be a show to recon with to stay powerful the minute we are not dummy is when like Hitler comes awake and thinks it will be time to take over the west and tom do that the USA needs to be hit first and hard. You bleding hearts do not get so you can not think it would ever happen. We are hated by many for lots of reasons. We can afford to show weakness.

jsfox
jsfox

Now you are just sputtering and really looking clueless. Every time you pound the keyboard I am reminded of that Mark Twain quote: tis better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jsfox @Openminded1 You can believe what ever you want about Obama and the leadership of Iranians the President of Iran dummy has very little power and most certainly not the bottom line. Do your research dumb ass. No matter what Rouhanis  part in Iranian politics was and is. It is run by a religious leader, who in the minds of Iranians is like a  god. That is the real power and the real reason for you dummy liberals  to think with your brains and not your bleeding hearts. I know  much more about foreign policy they you will ever know I am not a wimp like you and do not use the sissy pc you do. Its called reality. Check back when the headlines reveal how disrespected Obama really is .