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Obama Pledges To 'Test' Iran's Interest In Dialogue

Iranian President Hassan Rohani during an interview in Tehran on September 10.
U.S. President Barack Obama has said that Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, appears to want “to open dialogue with the West” and pledged to "test" whether this is the case.

Obama was speaking in an interview aired by Spanish-language network Telemundo on September 17.

"There is an opportunity here for diplomacy," the U.S. president said. "I hope the Iranians take advantage of it."

The comments come days after Obama disclosed that he had exchanged letters with Rohani. The statement sparked international reports on a possible Obama-Rohani meeting later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

On September 16, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on September 16 that Tehran was ready to "build trust" with the United States on the issue of Iran's disputed nuclear program.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters