The Handshake That Did Not Happen With Iran

Despite predictions there could be at least a handshake, presidents Obama and Rouhani did not meet.
2:16 | 09/24/13

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Transcript for The Handshake That Did Not Happen With Iran
Back here at home, the dramatic story of a handshake that did not happen. The president of the united states and the new president of iran amid predictions of a break through with america's adversary. Abc chief white house correspondent jonathan karl is here to tell us what happened. Reporter: President obama was hoping for a historic shand shake, the first in three decades. It was the iranians who said no. White house officials say the iranians turned down the handshake with president obama, saying it was, quote, too complicated back in iran where hard line clerics still talk about the u.S. As the great satin. Handshake or not there are signs an historic change may be under way. Iran's new president has come to new york vowing friendship with the west and promising never to build nuclear weapons. President obama today opened the door to warmer ties. The road blocks may prove to be too great. But iran's genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world. Reporter: For decades iran has been one of america's most feared add investigator sarys. American diplomats held hostage for 444 days. Americans were reminded recently in the movie argo. Just last year war with iran seemed inevitable was we were warned that iran was on the verge of going nuclear. The then president vowed to wipe israel off the face of the map. In contrast the new president called his country a har binger of peace and security. That speech was just wrapped up. President rouhani said he is open to talks with the u.S. To quote, manage the difference between the two countries. While there was no handshake there will be a meeting between secretary kerry and the iranians. It's the first time the united states has sat down since the hostage crises. Nobody walked up when the president got up to speak. More on the president now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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