TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the phone talk with his US counterpart Barack Obama was held at the request of the White House.
“Yesterday (Friday) at the moment we were preparing for moving towards the airport (to leave New York after attending the UN General Assembly meeting), the White House contacted us and expressed the willingness of the US president to have a phone conversation for some minutes,” Rouhani told reporters at Mehrabad airport after returning Tehran from New York on Saturday.
“Our (UN) ambassador’s mobile phone was contacted on the way (to the New York airport) and the main topic of our discussion was the nuclear issue,” he added.
Rouhani elaborated on the process which led to President Obama’s phone talk with him, and said, “The first news on the Americans’ willingness for Obama’s meeting with me was released at the time we were heading to New York.”
He said that there wasn’t enough time to make the necessary arrangements for a meeting between Obama and him in New York.
Earlier, the Islamic republic news agency reported last night that the Iranian and the US presidents talked over phone before President Rouhani’s departure from New York.
The two presidents talked over the phone as President Rouhani was in a car and heading towards the New York International Airport.
President Rouhani and President Obama discussed different issues during their phone conversation.
The Iranian and US presidents underlined the need for a political will for expediting resolution of West’s standoff with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program.
President Rouhani and President Obama stressed the necessity for mutual cooperation on different regional issues.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his US counterpart John Kerry have been commissioned to follow up talks between the two countries.
Rouhani’s remarks and the Iranian state-run news agency’s report contradict US National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s comments on CNN on Friday that the Iranian delegation approached the Obama administration about a phone call between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“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,” Rice said.
According to Rice, Friday’s call lasted about 15 minutes. “Of course, with translation, it was a brief call, but sufficient to convey messages from both sides,” she said.
“Obviously when you have two leaders from two countries that have not communicated at that level for almost 35 years, it’s something of a ground-breaking event. But they both conveyed their commitment to try and explore in a constructive manner the diplomatic path,” Rice said.
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