Obama speaks with Iranian President by phone over possible nuke deal
U.S. President Barack Obama announced Friday that he has just spoken directly with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani by phone regarding the ongoing efforts to pursue a deal over Iran's nuclear program.
In a televised statement at the White House, Obama confirmed his phone chat with Iranian President Rouhani, the first talk between the two countries' presidents for more than 30 years.
"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," said Obama.
After the conversation, Obama said he believes "we can reach a comprehensive solution" over Iran's nuclear program. The two presidents also directed their teams to continue to work expeditiously and in cooperation with other countries to pursue an agreement over the nuclear issue.
"I do believe there is a basis for a resolution," he said.
The office of the Iranian president also confirmed the phone call via a twitter account. One tweet read that the two presidents expressed their "mutual political will to rapidly solve the nuclear issue."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Thursday with his counterparts from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States over the country's nuclear program. Later, Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a side meeting, the first direct contact between the two countries' top diplomats in years.
The diplomats were encouraged by the positive attitudes of Tehran, and called their talks constructive.