Continuing the trend of Iran getting back on speaking terms with other countries, British Prime Minister David Cameron called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday, the first time a U.K. leader has done so in a decade. Iran enters another round of international negotiations on its nuclear program this week.
According to 10 Downing Street, the two leaders "agreed to continue efforts to improve the relationship on a step by step and reciprocal basis."
Here's their summary of the discussion of Iran's nuclear capabilities:
"Both leaders agreed that significant progress had been made in the recent Geneva negotiations and that it was important to seize the opportunity presented by the further round of talks which get underway tomorrow. The Prime Minister underlined the necessity of Iran comprehensively addressing the concerns of the international community about their nuclear program, including the need for greater transparency."
Rouhani, as has become characteristic for the new leader, summarized his side of the story on Twitter:
@HassanRouhani: In a phone conversation, @David_Cameron expressed regret over the #terrorist attacks in front of the Iranian embassy in #Beirut.
@HassanRouhani: Finding a political solution to the #Syrian crisis and improving bilateral ties were other issues discussed in phone conv w/ @David_Cameron
@HassanRouhani: In phone conv w/ @David_Cameron, ways to create positive atmosphere to address concerns of both sides on the #nuclear issue was emphasized
Following Rouhani's so-called "charm offensive" to the West, international leaders have re-entered negotiations with Iran over his enrichment of uranium, which Rouhani insists is only for peaceful purposes. And while previous rounds of negotiations have left participants cautiously optimistic, the negotiators have not yet agreed on a short- or long-term deal that would lift sanctions against the country. That, it should be noted, is the main reason Iran is engaging in the negotiations. On Tuesday, President Obama met with members of Congress from both parties to talk about an interim deal the P-5+1 negotiating body would like to pursue. That agreement could, among other things, be complicated by a desire among some members of Congress to impose new sanctions on the country.
Reprinted with permission from The Wire. The original story can be found here.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.