Obama reportedly penned a letter to the Iranian leader congratulating him on his victory in June’s presidential elections.
Rouhani told NBC that he responded with a letter to Obama, thanking him and “express[ing] Iran’s viewpoint on the issues raised in his letter and some other issues.”
This letter marks the first time that American president has written to an Iranian president and not to the supreme leader, which further elevates its significance.
The exchange of letters has been taken as a sign that Iran may be steadily reintegrating in the regional fold.
But in spite of this step, there are still many hurdles to mending the severely damaged relationship between the US and Iran.
The main cause of tension between the US and Iran, the disputed nuclear program, persists.
Earlier, White House spokesman Jay Carney was clear to underline that the letter from the US president “conveyed the need to act with a sense of urgency to address this issue because, as we have long said, the window of opportunity for resolving this diplomatically is open, but it will not remain open indefinitely.”
In his interview with Ann Curry of NBC News, Rouhani expressed that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons and that his government has “sufficient political latitude to solve this problem.”
In the interview, Rouhani reasserted his government’s position that Iran has “never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so.” He added that Iran is solely “looking for peaceful nuclear technology.”
Despite the hope of moderation that the Glasgow-educated leader has sparked, the issue remains highly sensitive and will test his administration’s diplomatic skills.
All eyes will now be observing his appearance at the UN General Assembly in New York in the days ahead, and particularly his first address to the Assembly, which is scheduled for next Tuesday.