The Washington Post

WH: Yes, we noticed @HassanRouhani’s Twitter feed

This official White House photograph released on Sept. 27, 2013 shows President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office. AFP PHOTO / The White House / Pete Souza)

As New York Magazine's Joe Coscarelli points out, President Obama was beaten to the news of his historic phone call Friday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani -- by Rouhani's own Twitter feed.

And the White House noticed.

A senior administration official confirmed that White House staff saw Rouhani's first tweet about the call when it posted to Twitter just before Obama told reporters in a statement in the briefing room. Rouhani quickly erased the tweet, but he later resumed posting about the phone call on the social network, where he has more than 65,000 followers on his English account.

Rouhani's tweets "certainly reflected the tone of the conversation between the two leaders," the White House official said, "and we'll continue to watch his Twitter feed."

Rouhani has tweeted more than 1,800 times since setting up the account, which the official called a "welcome development" and a "positive and constructive step" as the more moderate Iranian leader reaches out to the United States and the rest of the world.

But the White House official emphasized that the administration would like the Rouhani regime to allow social media access to ordinary Iranians.

"What we've noticed is Iran, like many other countries, has a youthful population that very much enjoys getting on and expressing their views through social media," the official said. "So we believe that that's a positive means for not just free expression but communication."


David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Sean Sullivan · September 27, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.