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September 29, 2013 2:00 am

Obama and Rouhani Talk in Historic Phone Call

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President Obama on PBS. Photo: Screenshot.

JNS.orgU.S. President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Friday before the Iranian leader departed the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Although the two leaders did not meet in person, this was the first direct conversation between leaders of the two governments since 1979.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif did meet in person Thursday, CNN reported.

“I reiterated to President Rouhani what I said in New York: While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward, and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive agreement,” Obama said about the call. “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,” he added.

A white house official said that  a “meaningful, transparent and verifiable” agreement with Iran would be preferable but acknowledged that “the Israeli government has every right to be skeptical of the Iranian government, given … threats toward Israel’s existence,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

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