News / Middle East

Not All Iranians Pleased by Rouhani-Obama Contact

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, walks with and Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, center left, at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2013.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, walks with and Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri, center left, at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2013.
VOA News
Hundreds of Iranians have turned out to welcome President Hassan Rouhani home following his historic telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama.

But Iranian news reports say a smaller group of hardliners shouted "death to America" and some threw objects, including a shoe, at the Iranian president's motorcade as he left Tehran airport Saturday.

Rouhani was returning from his trip to New York, where he attended the annual opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

Before leaving the U.S. Friday, Rouhani and Obama spoke by phone for 15 minutes. It was the first direct contact between the presidents of Iran and the United States in almost 35 years, and some see this as a signal that the long-standing diplomatic freeze between the two countries could be easing, or even nearing an end.

Iran and the United States broke off relations following the Islamic revolution in 1979 that ended Iran's monarchy, and the subsequent action by Iranian protesters who seized the U.S. embassy and held a large number of U.S. citizens hostage for more than a year.

Rouhani's English-language Twitter account first announced the news of the historic conversation.

President Obama said they discussed "ongoing efforts" to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency says U.S. officials in New York presented Rouhani with a ceremonial drinking vessel that dates back to the 7th century B.C., as a "token of goodwill."

Speaking about his talk with the Iranian president, Mr. Obama said lazte Friday that he believes the two countries can reach a comprehensive solution over Iran's nuclear program, and that even the fact of their relatively brief conversation by telephone shows the possibility of relations moving forward.

Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful. The U.S. and many of its allies disagree, and have helped impose several rounds of sanctions that have battered Iran's economy.

The Iranian leader said his election in June helped pave the way for better relations between Iran and the West.

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Comment Sorting
by: mahmoud ghaffari from: Los Angeles Ca USA
October 01, 2013 12:29 AM
The talks were a mistake. The Iranian regime cannot and should not be trusted. 34 years, of torture, rape, murder, pillage of Iran and Iranians not to mention the hundreds of thousands dead and missing and more importantly (yes more important) the Americans killed and taken hostage should be a lesson to us in America that this is an evil regime and cannot be trusted. There are only two ways to remove this menace from the world. By force (my preference) of by the Iranians themselves. The latter method will leave behind millions dead, as this regime will not leave as peacefully and humanely as the Shah did. they have been trained and indoctrinated by Islam to kill and destroy rather than give in. So the solution is simple.

by: hojat ahmadian from: iran
September 29, 2013 10:23 AM
We (Iranian peoples) are not enemies of America. Actually, we love american. it seems, The alliance of Iran and America will lead to the formation of a great power. Greetings to Iran + America. Viva Hassan Rohani, viva Barack Obama.......

by: Tony Bellchambers from: London
September 28, 2013 10:44 PM
Whatever happens in the negotiations with Iran, we are still left with a maverick nuclear state on the Eastern Mediterranean whose own nuclear capacity has to be neutralised. That can only be achieved by economic sanctions in the form of withdrawal of trading rights until such time as Netanyahu or his successor agrees to a Nuclear Weapons Free Middle East. That must and will happen – sooner or later.

The international community cannot be held to ransom for much longer by the stratagem of ‘nuclear ambiguity’ that has so contaminated the political scene for the past fifty years since JFK’s untimely passing. The paradigm shift has been a long time coming but the suspicion that Netanyahu now elicits is proof of a sea change in international opinion.

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