Obama open to talks with Iranian president

By: admin
Updated: 19 Sep 2013 11:23 PM


Washington: President Barack Obama is open to bilateral
discussions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, if Iran is serious
about giving up its nuclear weapons programme, the White House said on
Thursday.




Speaking during a daily news briefing, White House spokesperson Jay Carney
said that "it's possible, but it has always been possible", to have direct
conversations with Iran, if "they are serious about ridding themselves of
their nuclear weapons programme and honouring the international
commitments that they've made".




But Carney said they "have no meetings scheduled," as both Obama and
Rouhani are expected to attend UN General Assembly next week.




Before leaving for New York for the UN appearance, the Iranian president
said Wednesday during an interview with NBC, a US TV network, that his
administration would never develop nuclear weapons and that he had full
authority to make a deal with Western powers on his country's atomic
programme.




Carney said that the Obama administration obviously noticed a significant
change in language and tone from the new Iranian government when compared
to its predecessor.




The spokesperson, however, also added that the US won't just take Iran's
words for it, as "actions are more important than words".




On the same day, US Secretary of State John Kerry also said that Rouhani's
comments are "very positive", but "everything needs to be put to the
test".




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