Obama wrote to President Hassan Rouhani,
Obama has told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in an exchange of letters that Washington is ready to resolve the nuclear standoff with Iran diplomatically, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday, Reuters reported.
« In his letter the president indicated that the US is ready to resolve the nuclear issue in a way that allows Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes, » Carney said.
« The letter also conveyed the need to act with a sense of urgency to address this issue because, as we have long said, the window of opportunity for resolving this diplomatically is open, but it will not remain open indefinitely, » he said.
Obama first confirmed publicly during an interview with ABC on Sunday that he has exchanged letters with Rouhani and expressed hope the two can “strike a deal” over the nuclear issue.
In an interview aired Tuesday by Spanish-language network Telemundo, President Obama said, “There are indications that Rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialog with the West and with the United States, in a way that we haven’t seen in the past. And so we should test it.”
On Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham also confirmed the exchange of letters, saying Obama had congratulated Rouhani on his election as Iran’s president. She also said that Rouhani had written back to Obama and had thanked him for the message and expressed his views on several subjects.
Obama and Rouhani will both be in New York City next week to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
“No meeting with American officials is on the agenda during Dr. Rouhani’s trip,” Afkham said Tuesday. The White House earlier said that there were “currently no plans” for Obama to meet with his Iranian counterpart in New York.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.