Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Colombia peace deal will be ‘lasting’, FARC rebel leader tells FRANCE 24

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

Americas

Obama meeting with Rohani 'too complicated' for Iran

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-24

The United States offered to set up "an encounter" between President Barack Obama and his new Iranian counterpart during a UN summit but it proved "too complicated" for the Iranians, a US official said Tuesday.

The United States offered to set up "an encounter" between President Barack Obama and his new Iranian counterpart during a UN summit but it proved "too complicated for the Iranians to do at this point”, a US official said Tuesday.

Confirming that Obama would not meet with Iranian President Hassan Rohani in New York, the official said the Iranians informed the US Tuesday that they could not arrange it.

"We have said publicly and we also said privately to the Iranians, that we're open to having discussions on the margins of UNGA -- informal discussions not a bilateral meeting. That proved to be too complicated for the Iranians to do at this point," a senior administration official said.

There had been encouraging signs that the US and Iranian presidents would have the highest level contact since before Iran’s 1979 revolution. Both presidents have talked about a diplomatic opening to try to settle Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

US officials have welcomed initial signs that the new Iranian government may be prepared to open up and make progress on reining in the country's suspect nuclear program.

But the Americans have also cautioned that Iran must prove it is serious about taking such steps.

A ‘polite, courteous and frank’ talk with Hollande

The Iranians were not so cautious about a meeting with French President François Hollande, who had a “polite, courteous and frank discussion” with Rohani on Tuesday afternoon, according to a French presidential official.

“They discussed regional issues, including Syria and Lebanon, the nuclear issue and bilateral relations,” the official told reporters. “The president said that he had noted his counterpart’s call to engage in dialogue with the West but said he was waiting for words to be turned into actions.”

After the meeting Hollande told reporters he wanted “this first contact (with Iran) to be the first of many”.

On the nuclear issue, Hollande said that the international community “could not accept the idea of nuclear proliferation – this is not just about Iran, it concerns the security of the whole world”.

Hollande added that “Iran has to accept that there must be a political transition in Syria”.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-09-24

  • UNITED NATIONS

    Obama extends olive branch to Iran in UN speech

    Read more

  • BRAZIL

    Brazil’s Rousseff slams US for spying in UN address

    Read more

  • IRAN - US

    All eyes on Rohani and Obama as UN summit opens

    Read more

COMMENT(S)