U.S. President Barack Obama says Washington is not yet ready to reopen an embassy in Iran, but he is not entirely ruling out the possibility during the last two years of his presidency.
Asked on December 29 about reopening the U.S. embassy in Tehran, which has been closed since it was seized by Iranian students in 1979, Obama said: "I never say never, but I think these things have to go in steps."
Obama said Iran is different from Cuba, where Washington recently announced it would reopen its embassy after 53 years.
He said Cuba is small and poses no major threat to the United States, while Iran is large, has sponsored terrorism, and has tried to develop nuclear weapons.
Obama said he still hopes a permanent nuclear deal with Iran will pave the way for Tehran to rejoin the world community.