US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani appears to want to open a dialogue with the United States and that he is willing to test whether this is the case.
Obama’s comment in an interview with Spanish-language network Telemundo was the latest indication the president would like to jump from the crisis over Syria’s chemical weapons to a new search for a diplomatic deal on Iran nuclear program.
Last weekend, Obama revealed he and Rouhani had exchanged letters about the US-Iran standoff. Both leaders will be at the UN General Assembly in New York next week, although White House officials say there are no current plans for them to meet.
“There is an opportunity here for diplomacy”, Obama told Telemundo. “And I hope the Iranians take advantage of it”.
Obama ran for president in 2008 in part by vowing to open a dialogue with Iran.
But there has been no breakthrough and sanctions by Washington and the United Nations to weaken Iran’s economy have gradually been increased.
“There are indications that Rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialogue 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.
Source: Al Manar