This week, 60 Minutes presents the first interview Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has given to a Western journalist since July, when Iran and six world powers reached a deal drastically limiting the country's nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions.
Correspondent Steve Kroft's wide-ranging interview touches on the crisis in Syria, the possibility of a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Iran, and the ferocity of hardliners opposed to the nuclear deal in both countries.
The agreement has been attacked on Iranian state television, Kroft points out, and the head of the influential Revolutionary Guard has come out against it. Since the deal, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei, who supported negotiations, has endorsed, and even praised, the chanting of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" by demonstrators. President Rouhani, however, assures Kroft that the ayatollah will approve the deal if Iran's government supports it.
"The enmity that existed between the United States and Iran over the decades, the distance, the disagreements, the lack of trust, will not go away soon," Rouhani says. "What's important is which direction we are heading? Are we heading towards amplifying the enmity or decreasing this enmity? I believe we have taken the first steps towards decreasing this enmity."
The 60 Minutes team spent three days in Tehran, and interviewed the president in his office on September 13, 2015. Here is a longer version of the interview, including every topic Steve Kroft raised and Rouhani answered. For a transcript, click here.
Photo courtesy of Aaron Tomlinson