Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:28 pm
By Eyder Peralta
Credit Pete Souza / White House
During an address at the White House, today, President Obama said that he spoke on the phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
That detail is important in understanding just how serious the negotiations between the two countries have gotten. That talk was the first time the heads of states of the two countries have spoken directly since 1979.
On 'Morning Edition': Diplomat Ryan Crocker on his meetings with Iranian officials
One of the United States' most experienced diplomats says he's come away from behind-the-scenes conversations with Iranian officials this week thinking "it is possible to come to accommodations" with new President Hassan Rouhani and his aides on key issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions.
In a break with his often times caustic predecessor, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani delivered a kind of ode to moderation during his first address at the United Nations General Assembly.
"Prudent moderation will ensure a bright future for the world," Rouhani said, adding that the "recent election in Iran represents a clear living example of the wise choice of hope, rationality and moderation."
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Ari Shapiro on what President Obama will tell the U.N.
Update at 3:07 p.m. ET. Leaders Will Not Meet:
After intense speculation that the United States and Iran were on the verge of making history today by coordinating a meeting between President Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, there came word this afternoon that the two would not meet during the ceremonies surrounding the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.
The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.