WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The White House said Thursday that President Barack Obama is open to bilateral discussions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, if Iran is serious about giving up its nuclear weapons program.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said during a daily news briefing 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 program and honoring the international commitments that they've made."
But Carney said they "have no meetings scheduled," as both Obama and Rouhai are expected to attend UN General Assembly next week.
Before he left for New York for the UN appearance, Iranian President Rouhani said Wednesday during an interview with NBC, a major U.S. TV network, that his administration will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has full authority to make a deal with Western powers on his country's atomic program.
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.
But Carney also added that U.S. won't just take Iran's words for it, as "actions are more important than words."
On the same day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also said that Rouhani's comments are "very positive," but "everything needs to be put to the test."
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a major U.S. network on Wednesday that his administration will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has full authority to make a deal with Western powers on his country's atomic program.
Rouhani made the announcement in an interview with NBC News, the outlet reported. It said Rouhani also talked about his initial interactions with U.S. President Barack Obama, who sent him a letter of congratulations after his election and raised "some issues." Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Impressed with the new foreign minister of Iran during a meeting Thursday, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon commended the freshly installed Tehran government for presenting a promising outlook to the international community.
"I had a very good meeting this morning with the new Foreign Minister of Iran, Jawad Zarif," Ban told reporters at the release of a report on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals. " I commend the efforts of the new government in Iran in promoting dialogue with the international community." Full story
VIENNA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Tehran has renewed desire to clarify and resolve its disputed nuclear plans through negotiations, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on Monday.
Addressing a general conference at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Akbar Salehi stressed Iran's new government was ready to sit down with other sides to put an end to doubts surrounding its nuclear plans through mutual goodwill. Full story
TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Tuesday that the United States should give up the language of threat while dealing with Iran.
Commenting on recent remarks of U.S. President Barack Obama for keeping military force alongside diplomacy on the table while dealing with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Afkham said that it is regretful that they are still using language of threat instead of language of respect. Full story
TEHRAN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham on Tuesday confirmed that the presidents of Iran and the United States have exchanged letters recently.
"U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on his election," said Afkham, adding that "in response, Rouhani thanked (the U.S. president) and expressed his views about diverse of issues." Full story