During a statement Friday in the White House briefing room, President Obama announced that he spoke on the phone to Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani. This is the first direct leader-to-leader contact the two countries have had since the 1970's.
President Obama says he believes the United States and Iran can come to an agreement over Iran's nuclear program. The President says he's told Secretary of State John Kerry to continue to pursue a diplomatic effort with the Iranian Government.
Listen Below to President Obama speak about his phone call with the President of Iran:
President Obama: "I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran's nuclear program. I reiterated to President Rouhani what I said in New York. 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."
President Obama: "Going forward,President Rouhani and I have directed our teams to continue working expeditiously in cooperation with the P5+1 to pursue an agreement. And throughout this process, we'll stay in close touch with our friends and allies in the region, including Israel."
President Obama: "We're mindful of all the challenges ahead. The very fact that this was the first communications between an American and Iranian President since 1979, underscores the deep mistrust between our countries. But, it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history."
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