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Sep 27, 2013

U.S., Iran voice optimism and caution after rare encounter

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran and the United States held their highest-level substantive talks in a generation on Thursday, saying the tone was positive but sounding cautious about resolving the long-running standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met after Zarif held wider talks with the United States and other major powers to address Western suspicions that Iran may be trying to develop atomic weapons.

Sep 26, 2013

Iran, U.S., other powers open nuclear talks; Kerry aims to keep up pressure

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran’s new government began its first talks on its nuclear program with the United States and five other world powers on Thursday, with the Iranian foreign minister taking a seat next to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a rare high-level contact between the two long-estranged nations.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif went into talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly with Kerry as well as counterparts from Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany at a session aimed at jump-starting efforts to resolve a decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Sep 26, 2013

Palestinian leader urges world powers to rein in Israeli settlements

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that “time is running out” for Middle East peace efforts and urged world powers to rein in Israeli settlement construction that he said could undermine U.S.-sponsored negotiations.

In an address to an annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Abbas committed to negotiating with Israel in good faith but he also painted what he called a “dispiriting and bleak” picture for peace prospects.

Sep 26, 2013

Kerry aims to boost support for U.S. stance in nuclear meeting with Iran

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought to bolster international support to keep pressure on Iran in nuclear talks with world powers set for Thursday even as Iran’s new president pressed a diplomatic charm offensive at the United Nations.

The meeting in New York involves a very rare encounter between top officials of the United States and Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet with Kerry as well as diplomats from Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany at a session aimed at jump-starting efforts to resolve a decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama pledges diplomacy with Iran, puts onus on Rouhani

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
said on Tuesday the United States was ready to engage
diplomatically with longtime foe Iran but put the onus on the
new Iranian president to prove he is serious about pursuing a
nuclear deal.

Striking a cautiously optimistic tone in a speech to the
United Nations General Assembly, Obama said he was determined to
test President Hassan Rouhani’s recent overtures and challenged
him to take concrete steps toward resolving Iran’s long-running
nuclear dispute with the West.

Sep 24, 2013

Obama tells world leaders diplomatic path with Iran must be tested

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the United States was ready to engage diplomatically with Iran in what could be a historic opening between the long-time foes but put the onus on the new Iranian president to prove he is serious about pursuing a nuclear deal.

Addressing an annual summit of world leaders at the United Nations, Obama said he wanted to put President Hassan Rouhani’s overtures to the test and challenged him to take concrete steps toward resolving Iran’s long-running nuclear dispute with the West.

Sep 21, 2013

U.S. seeks to ease Israeli concerns over Iran contacts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as it crafts a response to overtures from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Obama administration is working to reassure Israeli officials there will be no easing of sanctions on Tehran unless it first takes tangible steps to limit its nuclear program, U.S. and diplomatic sources said.

Private discussions taking place at various levels both in Washington and Israel appear intended to calm Israelis’ fears that the United States is moving prematurely toward rapprochement with Iran at a time when they are already questioning U.S. resolve to keep open the threat of military action.

Sep 20, 2013

Obama may extend his hand to Iran’s Rouhani at U.N.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Next week’s U.N. General Assembly meetings will offer U.S. President Barack Obama a chance to extend a hand, both literally and figuratively, to new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The White House said on Thursday a meeting was possible, the first between U.S. and Iranian presidents since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Sep 20, 2013

Analysis: Obama may extend his hand to Iran’s Rouhani at U.N.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Next week’s U.N. General Assembly meetings will offer U.S. President Barack Obama a chance to extend a hand, both literally and figuratively, to new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The White House said on Thursday a meeting was possible, the first between U.S. and Iranian presidents since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Sep 18, 2013

Rouhani says Iran willing to forswear nuclear arms: TV interview

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Wednesday that his government will never develop nuclear weapons, his strongest signal yet that he may be seeking a diplomatic thaw with the West after decades of acrimony.

In an interview with NBC News days before he travels to New York for a U.N. appearance, the new Iranian president also insisted that he has “complete authority” to negotiate a nuclear deal with the United States and other Western powers.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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