John Kerry Holds Historic Meeting With Iran’s Foreign Minister

It was the first diplomatic meeting between the countries since 1979 and was seen as a breakthrough in the two foes’ nuclear standoff.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ® are seated during a meeting of the foreign ministers representing the permanent five member countries of the United Nations Security Council at UN Headquarters in New York on Sept. 26. Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met for a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Thursday. Their brief encounter is seen as a historic breakthrough in improving relations between the U.S. and Iran who have long had a nuclear standoff. It was the highest level contact between the two foes since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

After the meeting, Zarif called for an agreement on the nuclear issue within a year. The nuclear talks, which aim to resolve the standoff with Tehran, will continue in Geneva next month.

Kerry praised Zarif’s presentation, “which was very different in tone, and very different in the vision that he held out with respect to the possibilities in the future.”

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