After the first direct talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama were held Friday, Rouhani returned to Tehran where a hardline protester threw a shoe at his motorcade.
Hundreds gathered outside Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport to welcome Rouhani home. There were 200 to 300 supporting chanting “Thank you, Rouhani,” while 60 others chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
As his motorcade passed the crowd, Rouhani stood up through the sunroof of his car to acknowledge them. That’s when a protester lobbed a shoe and missed.
Obama and Rouhani had a 15-minute phone conversation on Friday, the first direct communication between leaders of the U.S. and Iran since 1979. Rouhani said the phone call was Obama’s own initiative.
“We were going to the airport, when I was informed that the White House had called the cellphone of our ambassador to the UN,” his office quoted him as saying. “I was informed President Obama wanted to speak to me for a few minutes.”
Shortly after the phone call, Obama issued an optimistic statement about the nuclear disarmament of Iran. It appears that crippling sanctions are soon to be lifted.
"While there will be significant obstacles and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution. I do believe that there is a basis for a resolution," Obama said. "We're mindful of all the challenges ahead. The test will be meaningful, transparent and verifiable actions which can also bring relief from the comprehensive international sanctions that are currently in place."
“In the endgame, there has to be a total lifting of all sanctions,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. “We hope to be able to move in that direction within a short span of time.”