Spokesman: US Open to Direct Exchange between Obama, Rouhani
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The White House is open to a direct exchange between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations, senior US officials said.
"I think it's fair to say that the president believes there is an opportunity for diplomacy when it comes to the issues that have presented challenges to the United States and our allies with regards to Iran, and we hope that the Iranian government takes advantage of this opportunity," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday after saying there were "currently no plans" for the two presidents to meet at the General Assembly.
Carney said Obama indicated to Rouhani in a recent letter exchange the United States was "ready to resolve the nuclear issue in a way that allows Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes."
“The letter also conveyed the need to act with a sense of urgency to address this issue,” Carney said, adding, “Because as we have long said, the window of opportunity for resolving this diplomatically is open, but it will not remain open indefinitely.”
In a separate development on Wednesday, President Rouhani said he has no plan to meet his US counterpart during his next week’s trip to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session, but added that everything is possible in the world of politics.
“Meeting Obama is not on the agenda of my trip, but everything is possible in the world of politics depending on the conditions that emerge,” President Rouhani said in an exclusive interview with American TV channel NBC in Tehran, when asked about the possibility of a meeting with Obama.
President Rouhani will travel to New York on September 22 to take part in the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech on September 24.
The Iranian chief executive also touched on his forthcoming trip’s purposes, saying, “We want to explicitly express our stances towards foreign policy and international issues, including nuclear issues and regional issues in the United Nations General Assembly.”
“We expect that the world would hear our voice very well,” Rouhani explained.
The Iranian president’s remarks came after Obama said Washington was willing to test chances of dialogue with Iran.
“There are indications that Rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialog with the West and with the United States, in a way that we haven't seen in the past. And so we should test it,” Obama said in an interview aired Tuesday by Spanish-language network Telemundo.