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Rouhani Wants Direct Flights from Iran to USA

Iranian President has ordered a study to look into establishing direct air links between Iran and the United States.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 9/30/2013, 2:48 PM

Next stop, Tehran?
Next stop, Tehran?
Flash 90

Iranian news agency Tansim has reported Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has set the wheels in motion for direct flights between Iran and the United States.

"The president issued an order to study how it would be possible to establish direct flights between Iran and the United States of America, in order to resolve the transportation problems of the (Iranian) compatriots residing in the US,” caretaker of the supreme council for Iranian expatriates’ affairs, Akbar Torkan, was quoted as saying in the report from Tehran on Monday.

According to US Census figures, some 414,000 Iranians live in the country, most of them in the California area.

On the last day of his five-day trip to the US, where he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, Rouhani also addressed a gathering of Iranian expatriates in New York, where, according to the Tansim report, he also hinted at plans to make greater connections with other large groups of Iranian expatriates around the world.

Last week, the Iranian president shared an historic phone call with Barack Obama on his way out of New York, where the leaders agreed on the need for a rapprochement between the two countries.

This news comes as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to press Barack Obama not to loosen sanctions against Iran in light of its continued path towards nuclear armament. Netanyahu is set to meet the with the US President in Washington later Monday.

But Netanyahu will likely find it harder to shore up international pressure against Tehran, in the face of what the Israeli PM has dubbed a "charm-offensive" by the Iranian President towards western states.

Despite claims by Iran that its pursuit of enriched uranium is for purely peaceful purposes, evidence so far appears to suggest that Tehran is forging ahead with its nuclear weapons program.