Iran's president suggests friendship with US remains possible

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said it’s possible for his country and the United States to become allies again.

Rouhani has been in Davos, Switzerland, this week for the World Economic Forum. He spoke to Swiss TV station RTS Television about Iran’s relationship with America. 

The interviewer asked Rouhani whether the U.S. would eventually be able to reopen an embassy in Tehran. For more than three decades, U.S. officials have used Swiss diplomats based in Iran as intermediaries.

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"No animosity lasts eternally; no friendship either lasts eternally. So we have to transform animosities into friendship,” Rouhani told the TV network, according to Reuters. He spoke in Farsi, which was translated into French for the news outlet.

America’s old embassy in the capital of Tehran was taken over in 1979 at the height of the Iranian revolution. Last month, CBS News filmed a story on the building that showed the facility had been turned into an anti-American museum. 

Rouhani was elected in June and has been regarded as one of Iran’s more moderate leaders. He agreed to initiate talks with the U.S. and its allies on Iran’s nuclear program. The six-month interim deal that freezes the program took effect on Monday.

Rouhani was in Davos, he said, to encourage other countries to consider investing in Iran again. As a result of U.S. and other foreign sanctions, Iran’s economy has taken a hit in the last few years.

"This effort is necessary to create confidence on both sides. Iran is in fact stretching out its hand in peace and friendship to all countries of the world and wants friendly, good relations with all countries in the world," Rouhani said.

Iran and the U.S. had previously been allies for nearly four decades after the 1940s.