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Iran studies direct flights to United States

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews an honor guard upon his arrival to the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Iran on September 28, 2013. On Friday, September 27, 2013, before Rouhani's departure from New York, the Iranian president and American President Barack Obama held a telephone conversation. The call was the first direct communication between an Iranian and a US president since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews an honor guard upon his arrival to the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Iran on September 28, 2013. On Friday, September 27, 2013, before Rouhani's departure from New York, the Iranian president and American President Barack Obama held a telephone conversation. The call was the first direct communication between an Iranian and a US president since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

TEHRAN, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Iran is willing to consider a memorandum of understanding for direct flights to the United States, a national aviation director in Iran said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on legislators in the Islamic republic this week to review the prospects for direct flights between the United States and Iran. He has moved to engage his adversaries since winning Iranian elections this year by running as a moderate.

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Civil aviation director Hamid Reza Pahlavani said the government was ready to sign a preliminary agreement on the agenda, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported Thursday.

A parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy in Tehran said the measure would not only help Iranian expatriates travel home but improve ties with the United States, Fars reported.

Rouhani spoke by phone with U.S. President Barack last week as the Iranian president was returning home from the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, Fars said. Both leaders also exchanged formal letters on the nuclear impasse.

Bilateral ties were severed in 1979 when the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was seized by student revolutionaries.

Rouhani's government is looking for relief from sanctions imposed for a controversial nuclear program its adversaries say is geared toward weaponization.

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