Published on
Common Dreams

After 30 Years, Leaders of US and Iran Talk by Phone

Common Dreams staff

President Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone on Friday night, the first time the leaders from the two country's have communicated directly in more than 30 years.

As McClatchy, calling it a "stunning and unexpected development," reports:

Obama made the unplanned call to Rouhani as the Shiite Muslim cleric was being driven to John F. Kennedy International Airport after a four-day visit to New York that marked his debut on the world stage following his June election. Both men announced the conversation shortly after it took place, Rouhani on his Twitter feed and Obama at a White House appearance that had been scheduled to discuss a budget impasse with Congress.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations released a four-line statement, saying the two discussed “different issues,” including the need “for expediting a resolution of the West’s standoff with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program.”


If you think a better world is possible, support our people-powered media model today

The corporate media puts the interests of the 1% ahead of all of us. That's wrong. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to a healthy democracy, please step forward with a donation to nonprofit Common Dreams today:

Experts on Iran used a wide range of superlatives to discuss the call. Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy and the editor of its Iran@Saban blog, called it “hugely positive,” while Sam Brannen, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, another Washington think tank, said it was a “historic but long overdue moment.” National Security Adviser Susan Rice, speaking on CNN, called it a “groundbreaking event.

According to The Guardian:

Both leaders expressed confidence their countries could reach a peaceful settlement to their standoff over Iranian nuclear programme. Obama, in his White House statement, said: "While there will be significant obstacles and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution."

Obama cautioned against over-optimism, however. "We're mindful of all the challenges ahead," he told reporters. "The test will be meaningful, transparent and verifiable actions which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place."


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: