Obama holds historic phone call with Iranian President

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, September 30, 2013
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imgU.S. President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a historic phone call Friday, in the highest level conversation between the estranged nations in over three decades.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said both men had directed their teams to work expeditiously toward an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. He said this was a unique opportunity to make progress with Tehran over an issue that has isolated it from the West.

“While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution,” Obama said.

Rouhani, in a Twitter account believed to be genuine, said that in the conversation he told Obama, “Have a Nice Day!” and Obama responded with “Thank you. Khodahafez [goodbye].” He added that the two men “expressed their mutual political will to rapidly solve the nuclear issue.”

The phone call, the first between the heads of government of the two nations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, came while Rouhani was heading to the airport after his first visit to the U.N. General Assembly, according to a statement on Rouhani’s official website.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have been asked to follow up on the Obama-Rouhani conversation, the statement added.

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