Rouhani: Normalization of Tehran-Washington Relations Needs Time
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – There is a bitter history in relations between Tehran and Washington, Iranian president said Friday, and noted that such tensions could not be resolved overnight.
“The tensions and hostility that have been shaped between Tehran and Washington from the past would not be settled overnight,” President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday in a gathering of Iranian expatriates in New York, on last day of his five-day trip to attend the UN General Assembly.
Also in regard to US President Barack Obama’s willingness to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the event, Rouhani said, “I agree on the concept of the suggestion, but we on the both sides contemplated how the result of such a meeting would be an appropriate present for the both nations, and realized that the issue (meeting) could not happen in such a short time span.”
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Rouhani had said, "The United States declared its interest in having such a meeting, and in principle Iran could have under certain circumstances allowed for it to happen."
“But” Rouhani added “I believe we didn't have sufficient time to really coordinate the meeting to the full extent that we needed to.”
In his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Barack Obama pointed to his country’s relations with Iran, and said, “I don’t believe this difficult history can be overcome overnight -- the suspicions run too deep. But I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”
In the most recent development, President Rouhani and his US counterpart Barack Obama talked over the phone as the Iranian official was on his way to leave New York City after the 68th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.
This is the highest-level contact between the two countries in more than three decades and a sign that they are serious about reaching a pact on Tehran's nuclear program.
The two presidents have reportedly discussed different issues during their phone conversation.
Both Rouhani and Obama underlined the need for a political will for resolving the West’s standoff with Iran over the Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program.