Saturday | April 18, 2015
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US, Iran leaders talk for first time since 1979

President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone Friday, the first conversation between American and Iranian presidents in more than 30 years. The exchange could reflect a major step in resolving global concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama told reporters at the White House he had a constructive conversation with the Iranian leader.

“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,” he said.

Obama said he and Rouhani have directed their teams to work quickly to pursue an agreement. He said the U.S. will coordinate closely with its allies — including Israel, which considers an Iranian nuclear weapon capability to be an existential threat.

The fact that it had been so long since American and Iranian presidents had traded words reflected the “deep mistrust between our countries,” Obama said. But he added that it also indicated the opportunity for moving forward.