In an exchange of letters with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, U.S. President Obama said that the United States is ready to resolve the nuclear arms dispute with Iran. Speaking on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Carnegie’s Karim Sadjapour discussed whether the letters signal a shift in communication between the United States and Iran. Sadjapour noted that, given everything that’s taking place in the Middle East, Iran is one of the few sources of hope for the Obama administration to reach some kind of diplomatic accommodation. However, with Iran militarily propping up the Assad regime in Syria, Sadjapour argued that there are certain strategic principles within the Iranian regime which will be very difficult for anyone to change, including President Rouhani.

Sadjapour said the question is whether or not the United States and Iran can overcome their differences on Syria and Israel in order to reach a nuclear détente. “I would say between President Obama in Washington and President Rouhani in Tehran, this is the best opportunity we’ve had for a diplomatic breakthrough at least for 15 years,” Sadjapour concluded.

This interview was originally broadcast on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.