Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

The Peacemakers: Does gender really make a difference?

Read more

DEBATE

Fatah-Hamas Talks: Towards a United Palestinian Front? (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

S. Sudanese rebels accused of ethnic slaughter in oil town

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fascist finger-pointing

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande carries the cross of unemployment

Read more

DEBATE

Fatah-Hamas Talks: Towards a United Palestinian Front?

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Thierry de Longuemar, ADB Vice President for Finance and Risk Management

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

2014-04-19 12:10-WB EN TALKING EUROPE

Read more

FOCUS

Remembrance of saint-to-be John Paul II alive and well in hometown Wadowice

Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • Violent protests erupt in Rio de Janeiro

    Read more

  • Ukraine relaunches offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

  • Photos link ‘little green men’ in Ukraine to Russian troops

    Read more

  • New anti-radicalisation plans aimed at fighting jihadism

    Read more

  • David Moyes sacked by Man United after just 10 months

    Read more

  • Hollande facing mounting pressure over Syrian refugees

    Read more

  • US probes new claims of chemical weapons use in Syria

    Read more

  • Islamist militants kill second Somali lawmaker in 24 hours

    Read more

  • Court orders US to release memos on drone strikes

    Read more

  • ‘I suffered mock executions,’ says freed French journalist

    Read more

  • S. Sudan rebels massacre hundreds in key town, says UN

    Read more

  • Air strikes kill scores of al Qaeda militants in Yemen

    Read more

  • Russia accuses Kiev of 'grossly' violating Geneva deal

    Read more

Americas

Obama, Rohani speak by phone on nuclear program

© Photo: AFP

Video by Halla Mohieddeen

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-28

US President Barack Obama said Friday he had spoken to Iranian President Hassan Rohani in a telephone call. It is the first time US and Iranian leaders have spoken directly since 1979.

U.S. President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held a historic phone call on Friday, in the highest level conversation between the estranged nations in more than 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.

Rohani receives mixed recepetion upon return to Iran

A shoe was thrown at Iranian President Hassan Rohani's car on Saturday as he arrived home to a mixed reception for his historic call with Barack Obama, according to the AFP news agency.

Around 60 angry protesters chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" as Rohani's motorcade pulled out of Tehran's Mehrabad Airport. But they were outnumbered by 200 to 300 supporters of the president who shouted, "Thank you Rohani".

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 telephone 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 United Nations 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.

As president, Rouhani is the head of the government but has limited powers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the ultimate authority in Iran with final say on domestic and foreign policy, though Rouhani says he has been given full authority to negotiate on the nuclear issue.

Rouhani was on a charm offensive during his week in New York, repeatedly stressing Iran's desire for normal relations with Western powers and denying it wanted a nuclear arsenal, while urging an end to sanctions that are crippling its economy.

In his speech to the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama cautiously embraced Rouhani's gestures as the basis for a possible nuclear deal and challenged him to demonstrate his sincerity.

However, the failure to orchestrate a handshake between the two leaders that day, apparently because of Rouhani's concerns about a backlash from hardliners at home - and perhaps Obama's concerns about the possibility of a failed overture - seemed to underscore how hard it may be to make diplomatic progress.

Rouhani, who took office last month, told a news conference earlier on Friday he hoped talks with the United States and five other major powers "will yield, in a short period of time, tangible results," on a nuclear deal. But he was less specific than he had been on Tuesday about the time scale.

He said Iran would bring a plan to resolve the decade-long dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, which Western powers and their allies suspect is aimed at developing an atomic weapons capability, to an October meeting with the six powers in Geneva.

He offered no details about that plan, but emphasized that Tehran's nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-09-27

  • UNITED NATIONS

    Israel warns US over Iran’s ‘charm offensive’

    Read more

  • UNITED NATIONS

    Iran wants nuclear deal within months, says Rohani

    Read more

  • UNITED NATIONS

    Obama meeting with Rohani 'too complicated' for Iran

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)