TEHRAN, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Iranian dissidents, including many now in prison, have asked President Obama to end U.S. sanctions and called for both countries to "turn a page."
The letter signed by 55 journalists, diplomats and political activists was published in the British newspaper The Guardian. The writers called the sanctions "devastating" and said they have had a "crippling" effect on the Iranian people.
"We believe the time has come for our two countries to turn a page and start a new era of mutual understanding," the letter said.
Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, is considered a moderate. He said in his first news conference he would be willing to engage in talks with the United States.
The letter calls Rouhani "a politician known to be a firm believer in dialogue and constructive engagement in international relations."