U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke on the telephone for 15 minutes Friday–the first time a U.S. president and a leader of Iran have spoken directly since 1979.
According to The Guardian, Obama said the call had covered a “basis for resolution” of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
During the conversation Obama expressed his “deep respect for the Iranian people,” and Rouhani described the U.S. as “a great nation.”
But for all the optimism, Obama warned that path forward could still be difficult. “We’re mindful of all the challenges ahead,” he said. “The test will be meaningful [but will require] transparent and verifiable actions which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place.”
Rouhani said, “Step by step, we build confidence between our two presidents and our countries. With sufficient will on both sides–and I assure you that on Iran’s side the will is 100%–the nuclear file will be resolved in a short period of time.”
An Obama administration official described the call as “cordial in tone,” adding: “both leaders expressed their determination to solve this [nuclear] issue expeditiously.”
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