President Barack Obama said Monday his administration is looking for opportunities to engage longtime adversary Iran in the coming months, but that years of mistrust will be hard to overcome.
In his first prime-time news conference as president, Obama repeated campaign pledges to rethink the US relationship with Iran, but offered no examples of possible partnership.
"My national security team is currently reviewing our existing Iran policy, looking at areas where we can have constructive dialogue, where we can directly engage with them," Obama said. "My expectation is that in the coming months we will be looking for openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table face to face."
Obama repeated the usual list of US complaints against Iran, including alleged financial support for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and "bellicose language" directed at US ally Israel. He also said Iran's nuclear program threatens to rock the Middle East and could set off a new arms race.