Nightly News   |  September 18, 2013

A breakthrough with Iran?

Officials in Washington, D.C., say the time is right for Iran, which wants a deal to get out from sanctions that are crippling its economy. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> go to andrea mitchell at the state department . this is the new man. the world came to now ahmadinejad before him. what was important about what he just said versus what we have heard from iran before?

>> reporter: this is a very, very big deal . i can tell you at the white house and at the highest levels of the state department they were watching for this all day. they were looking for these signals in this interview. he made it very clear he wants a deal on the nuclear weapons. the president said on telemundo yesterday he wants to test his seriousness. that is what they are going to be looking for at the u.n. there is no formal meeting scheduled. they are not planning one. unlike ahmadinejad, his predecessor, you can understand ethics week when both of them are at the u.n., same time, same place, they are going to look for an opportunity to see each other, perhaps to have a real conversation. they believe that iran b want this is because of the oh sanctions, because they are crippling the economy, that the time is right but there is a short window to see if iran is serious, whether this man with a clerical background can do the deal. i was told by a top state department official they have been working on the back channel for two years and one of the significant players is the foreign minister zarif who was the the ambassador and is well known to this administration.

>> thank you both.