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Obama Thanks Putin For 'Important Role' In Iran Nuclear Deal

U.S. President Barack Obama has telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to thank him for his country's "important role" in finalizing the Iran nuclear deal, the White House said on July 15.

In an interview with The New York Times on July 14, Obama said there might not have been a deal without Russia, which apparently influenced Tehran to accept a tougher deal than it wanted.

"We would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia's willingness to stick with us and the other [world powers] in insisting on a strong deal," Obama said.

"Russia was a help on this. I'll be honest with you. I was not sure -- given the strong differences we are having with Russia right now around
Ukraine -- whether this would sustain itself," he said.

The leaders in their phone call agreed to closely coordinate as the deal is implemented, and expressed a desire to work together on other issues, including the civil war in Syria.

The Kremlin said the leaders agreed the deal "allows a strengthening of the nuclear nonproliferation regime and the lowering of tension in the Middle East region."

Based on reporting by AP and TASS