Obama holds historic phone call with Rouhani and hints at end to sanctions
President says discussion with Iranian counterpart showed 'basis for resolution' of dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme
Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani held the first direct talks between American and Iranian leaders since the 1979 Islamic revolution, exchanging pleasantries in a 15-minute telephone call on Friday that raised the prospect of relief for Tehran from crippling economic sanctions.
Speaking at the White House shortly after the historic call, Obama said his discussion with Rouhani had shown the "basis for resolution" of the dispute over Iran nuclear programme.
The conversation, in which Obama communicated his "deep respect for the Iranian people", capped a week of diplomatic breakthroughs. Rouhani ended a five-day visit to New York for the UN general assembly with a striking offer to work rapidly to defuse tensions with America, and hailed the US as "a great nation" – a dramatic shift in tone for an Iranian leader.
I think I just felt the earth tilt off its axis.
Good news, though!