(Reuters) – Next week’s U.N. General Assembly meetings will offer U.S. President Barack Obama a chance to extend a hand, both literally and figuratively, to new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The White House said on Thursday a meeting was possible, the first between U.S. and Iranian presidents since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“It’s possible, but it has always been possible,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “The extended hand has been there from the moment the president was sworn in.

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