September 27th, 2013
07:26 PM ET

Rice: Rouhani call was cordial

Fareed speaks with National Security Advisor Susan Rice about President Obama’s phone call on Friday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Susan Rice, can you give us a sense of how this phone call happened, who called whom?

I think, as many people know, we had indicated earlier in the week, an openness to a brief, informal encounter when President Obama was in New York at the General Assembly. And while we were open to that, the Iranians indicated that it was complicated for them in their context and so it didn’t occur.

Today, somewhat surprisingly, we were contacted by them to say that President Rouhani would like to speak to Pres. Obama on the telephone on his way out of town, and we were able to make that call come together and it was a constructive conversation.

How long was that call?

About 15 minutes, but of course, with translation, it was a brief call, but sufficient to convey messages from both sides.

Was it friendly or businesslike?

I’d say cordial and constructive.  Obviously when you have two leaders from two countries that haven’t communicated at that level for almost 35 years, it’s something of a groundbreaking event. But they both conveyed their commitment to try and explore in a constructive manner the diplomatic path. We’ve made very clear, and the president has long re-iterated – including this week at the General Assembly – that the United States will not tolerate Iran with a nuclear weapon.

But our strong preference is that this problem be resolved through diplomatic means. And obviously as a consequence of international pressure, the international community being united – of course the sanctions and the economic pressure, and the election of President Rouhani – there is an opportunity now to test the proposition of that diplomatic settlement.

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Topics: Iran

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. John McKane

    This is great news no matter how you slice it! However, I bet that both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham are bawling like two babies over this! So be it!

    September 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  2. Arash

    Such a big lie! It is completely clear that the american party asked for the telephone conversation. President Rouhani already has indicated that. Don't try to tell a fake story to your people!

    September 28, 2013 at 7:10 am | Reply
  3. sand

    susan rice is a w h o o r e this ghanaian irish jewish half breed shopul be shot through that face with a rifle.

    September 28, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
    • Jim (retired AF colonel)

      Sand,

      You're an ignorant anti-american SOB!

      September 30, 2013 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Captain Kirk

      Jewish, Irish and Ghanaian "half" breed? Your intelligence sounds like something you would expect from a person who is an "inbreed"

      September 30, 2013 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • MP

      you stupid person, listen to yourself, you sound exactly like all those extremist from both sides that are causing all these troubles. shame on you, I do not like most of the American's policies but I can not stand people like you. because ,people like you are the reason why this world becomes uglier, and Uglier

      September 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
    • Mr. Face

      I really don't care for Susan Rice. Constantly beating the drums for war with Iran.

      But talking about the National Security Adviser as you did is completely unacceptable.

      I pray for you. AND I pray the NSA, FBI, CIA, DHS will drop into your dwelling to scoop you up and send you off to Guantanamo... Even though a lifetime sentence there is simply too good for you with a comment like that.

      October 1, 2013 at 3:23 am | Reply
      • MP

        Thank You. Well said :-)

        October 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  4. ✠RZ✠

    Putin and the UN are working on getting rid of chemical weapons. Rouhani is working on brokering an overall peace deal. North and South Korea are supposedly talking constructively. There is always a chance that none of this might add up to a hill of beans, and even that underlying hostilities might re-ignite horribly... who really knows? But, at least most everyone agrees it is certainly the more reasonable and humane approach to take rather than just applying more blind random force. And for the moment, we must at least express some respect and appreciation to those leaders who are stepping up to the plate. So, other than the media, I somehow doubt much anybody else really cares that much about who calls who.

    And as for "smokin em out", and "evil doers", and "war on terror", and drawing "red lines", which leader has stepping up to the challenge of somehow resolving all the continuing massacres of innocent people elsewhere ? (Ie. as we have seen most recently in Kenya, Westgate Mall). I'd somehow bet that if you add up the number of dead and injured innocent victims associated with such attacks it would dwarf those killed by chemical weapons in Syria. So where's the "red line" on that Mr. Obama? Where is the "Op-Ed" on that Vlado? Rouhani? Cameron? Anybody??? I do respect and appreciate all the good that you might be trying to do, but it is still not enough! So while you're at it, start speaking up about all that blood shed too, instead of letting the rain wash it away as usual.

    September 28, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      And on that final note, to the rest of you G20 members out there wherever you are, well !?!$&! you too!

      September 28, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      Update: Oct 5, 2013. U.S. forces take part in 2 Africa raids targeting alleged terrorists.

      Thank you,
      ✠RZ✠

      October 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  5. Arash

    It's highly important in Iran that who calls who! I'm sure that US governments are well informed about the sensetivity of this issue in Iran and I think Suasn Rice has played a special role in the Iranian fundementalists' plan to stop negotiation between Iran and US!
    It's clear that like in Iran, there are groups in US that don't want let two countries live in peace, because they trade war.

    September 28, 2013 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • George patton

      Quite true Arash, quite true indeed!

      September 28, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  6. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    September 29, 2013 at 2:45 am | Reply
  7. Dan Duncan

    Ask her about who sent her out to speak on Benghazi?

    September 29, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
  8. j. von hettlingen

    Rouhani wanted to demonstrate his eagerness for a détente by speaking to Obama on the phone. The world had expected the two leaders to meet briefly and shake hands. It didn't happen. So he offered to speak with Obama on the phone. He had to show the world that he hasn't had his hands tied.

    September 29, 2013 at 10:51 am | Reply
  9. Sahid

    No matter who called who , but its good thing in air and we must be postive about it .

    September 30, 2013 at 11:47 am | Reply
  10. PeterD

    Susan Rice ia an AXIS of Liar who went to lie on Five Sunday Morning Talk Shows on Benghazi Terror Attack.

    September 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  11. Jerry

    After Benghazi, etc., etc., can anyone América still believe anything this Obama trained butt kissing liar says. I think NOT!!!

    The funniest (phoniest) part is that Obama and his minions lie to the Américan populace's face with out a hint of remorse.

    Well, birds of a feather...

    September 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  12. nafzak

    This is very good news. War is always the worst option. Diplomacy is the way to go. Who initiated the call or who made the ist move etc., is moot. The Iranian President will not want to upset those in his country who are against any diplomacy and the American president must also be careful with the warmongers here. Neither President would want to appear weak in front of their counytrymen, so let's all be glad that they are not acting macho.

    September 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  13. Reza

    Rouhani was SELECTED to be the President . Keep in mind Iran is an Occupied Nation, Yes, Occupied by the ISLAMIST. For some reson president Obama Has signored this important fact , where in Iran as it was the case with Nazi(Germany) and the Zionist(Isreal) The general indegneous population have no rights unless they submitt to the occupiers rules and regulation. Rouhani and all the Islamist occupiers of Iran who hold government position as a matter of public policy have been engaged in direct torturing and killing of Iranians for 34 years. To be selected as the president of the Occupiers the resume must be filled with Blood of Iranians. Now Rouhani assignment is to show a mild face in order to have the sanctions eased, that is what the LEADER khamanie has him do. President Obama and his advisors have fallen for this grand trick . The Fact is , no contry would develop log range missles as The Islamist Occupiers of Iran have, unless they are planning to install nuclear war head on them. TNT is not an option or should i say, a Useless option.

    October 1, 2013 at 12:58 am | Reply
    • rusky

      best you smoke some more American crack so you make even more sense to yourself

      October 2, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
  14. Reza

    Oh to our friend SAND , they do have special websites for your type of Thinking, dont waste your time here.

    October 1, 2013 at 1:02 am | Reply
  15. Reality Check

    Do not be fouled America this is the same team Obama that told us Benghazi was about a film and we all know it was not... After many years in the military and a US citizen I have never been more confused about how the POTUS and the DEMS continue to lie to the American people. Everyone knew the sleeping lions had to wake up sometime and they did...North Korea, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and so forth.... all of which loth the American/Western ways of life. The fact is nothing and no one is being held accountable from Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and many other issues here in the United States and someone like Rice and POTUS want to distract us about a freakin phone call to a monster in sheep clothing....wake up America...how did we go from being the a leader to being a follower and kiss buttocks country??? Obama was right about CHANGE...cause after todays Obamacare rollout in a short few Obama will no longer be anything but the old POTUS that was worse then Jimmy Carter.....hey RICE we know you are lying cause every time you open your mouth about something serious you smile...that is a true sign of a lying person trying to push some B.S. in stereo onto the American public....

    October 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • rusky

      I agree with lots you say but us Russians don't loathe Americans at all. We just now know we are more democratic. Kind of a twist of how we always thought.

      October 2, 2013 at 11:33 am | Reply
  16. Paradise

    Do not be fouled America this is the same team Obama that told us Benghazi was about a film and we all know it was not... After many years in the military and a US citizen I have never been more confused about how the POTUS and the DEMS continue to lie to the American people. Everyone knew the sleeping lions had to wake up sometime and they did...North Korea, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and so forth.... all of which loth the American/Western ways of life. The fact is nothing and no one is being held accountable from Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and many other issues here in the United States and someone like Rice and POTUS want to distract us about a freakin phone call to a monster in sheep clothing....wake up America...how did we go from being the a leader to being a follower and kiss buttocks country??? Obama was right about CHANGE...cause after todays Obamacare rollout in a short few Obama will no longer be anything but the old POTUS that was worse then Jimmy Carter.....hey RICE we know you are lying cause every time you open your mouth about something serious you smile...that is a true sign of a lying person trying to push some B.S. in stereo onto the American public....

    October 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  17. lachman

    None of the present members of the Iranian government, including their president can ever be trusted.

    October 2, 2013 at 12:31 am | Reply

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