WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama is not disappointed that his Iranian counterpart turned down the offer to meet him at the United Nations.
"We should not over-interpret the fact that the Iranians decided against having an encounter," said Carney during a press briefing in New York, adding that the President remains open to the possibility of informal encounter with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. A transcript of Carney's remarks Wednesday was made available to Xinhua here.
Obama and Rouhani did not meet informally on the sidelines of the 68th UN General Assembly session as it was expected in previous reports. The Obama administration officials indicated that such an encounter would prove "too complicated" for the Iranian side back home.
Carney said Obama believes the most important issues "are ones that need to be resolved through negotiations over substantive matters around Iran's nuclear weapons program."
"The issue is how serious is the (Iranian) new government, as well as the Supreme Leader, about resolving this significant problem it has with the international community," said Carney.
Being asked about the prospect of lifting sanctions of the Iranians, Carney said it "depends entirely on the Iranians," as " verifiable actions" need to be taken to relieve the international community's concerns about Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
In his address to the UN General Assembly session Tuesday afternoon, Rouhani said Iran now seeks "constructive engagement" with other countries and insisted that the nuclear issue of Iran should be solved through diplomacy. He also stressed that the sanctions against Iran are "intrinsically inhumane and against peace," and also victimize the ordinary Iranians.
Obama has asked Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif over nuclear weapons program in New York this week.
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