UK-Iran meeting first since 1979 revolution

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 24, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.


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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the first such meeting since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

A Cameron spokesman said the two leaders agreed to seek to progressively improve their bilateral relationship.

Cameron and Rouhani noted the threat posed to the region by the Islamic State militant group and "agreed that all states in the region must do more" to cut support for terrorist groups.

"We have severe disagreements," Cameron said Wednesday night in his address to the General Assembly. "Iran's support for terrorist organizations, its nuclear program, its treatment of its people. All these need to change.

"But Iran's leaders could help in defeating the threat from ISIL," Cameron said, using an acronym for the terror group. "They could help secure a more stable, inclusive Iraq; and a more stable, inclusive Syria. And if they are prepared to do this, then we should welcome their engagement."

Britain and Iran have recently taken steps to solidify relations.

The Cameron spokesman said the prime minister and Rouhani also agreed it is vital to secure a comprehensive agreement in ongoing negotiations about Iran's nuclear program.

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