Obama won't negotiate with terrorists: talks with Iran's President Rouhani, snubs Republicans
After all, who are the real terrorists, as far as Barack Obama is concerned?
"It's a three-decade first: Presidents of U.S., Iran talk directly, if only by phone," by Chelsea J. Carter for CNN, September 27:
(CNN) -- U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by telephone Friday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani -- the first direct conversation between leaders in Washington and Tehran since 1979 -- raising the possibility a deal can be reached over Iran's controversial nuclear program.
Describing the conversation as a starting point, Obama said he believes an agreement is possible regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions that could lead to better relations.
"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," Obama told reporters during a White House briefing.
Western leaders have expressed cautious optimism about Iran's more moderate tone under Rouhani, whose recent comments have raised hopes that a deal could be struckover the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear program.
Obama said he reiterated to Rouhani statements he made earlier in the week during the United Nations General Assembly, where he signaled the United States was open to negotiations with Iran provided real action is taken.
"So the test will be meaningful, transparent, and verifiable actions, which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place," he said Friday.
The conversation between the two men came at the end of the General Assembly, where conjecture abounded over whether Obama and Rouhani would meet in person and what that might mean for U.S.-Iranian relations.
Rouhani told reporters Friday that there wasn't enough time to plan such a face-to-face meeting.
The last time a U.S. president spoke with an Iranian leader was in 1979, when Jimmy Carter talked by telephone with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi before Pahlavi was overthrown.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that the administration was contacted by the Iranian delegation.
"Today, somewhat surprisingly, we were contacted by them to say that President Rouhani would like to speak to President Obama on the telephone on his way out of town, and we were able to make that call come together and it was a constructive conversation," she said.
The call lasted about 15 minutes, with translation, Rice said.
Rice characterized the call as "cordial and constructive."...