World Bulletin/News Desk
Although there is no formal meeting planned between US President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, their top diplomats are due to meet at the UN in New York later this week -- the first time representatives from the two countries' have met in over a quarter of a century.
Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif within the week, the highest level contact between the two countries' diplomats since the 1979 Iranian revolution, according to the White House.
No US president has had a tete-a-tete meeting with an Iranian head of state since 1977.
Despite the fact that no formal meeting has yet been scheduled between Obama and Rouhani on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York, the US is open to engage with the Iranian government on the condition that "they will follow through on their commitments to address concerns over their nuclear program," Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes, told a press conference on Monday.
The US welcomes Iran engaging seriously through the group of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, which has been talking to Tehran for seven years on Iran’s nuclear program, added Rhodes. The Kerry-Zarif meeting is expected to be held as part of this gathering.
"You're not going to solve all the issues with Iran in any one meeting or encounter. But what we're signaling is that we're open to engagement generally towards resolving this issue" Jay Carney, White House press secretary, told Monday's press conference.Last Mod: 24 Eylül 2013, 13:20