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 next 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 programme, including the need for greater transparency.
Rouhani, as has become characteristic for the new leader, summarized his side of the story on Twitter:
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 P5+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.