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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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world lead

September 27th, 2013
07:31 PM ET

Shift in policy? Phone call between Obama, Rouhani

(CNN) - President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first direct conversation between leaders of the United States and Iran since 1979.

Obama believes a comprehensive agreement is possible regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions, telling reporters at the White House that "the test will be meaningful, transparent and verifiable action" and if proven would ease international sanctions in place against Iran.

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politics lead

September 27th, 2013
06:21 PM ET

Conservative radio host Mark Levin: Scare tactics on a government shutdown 'mean nothing'

Conservative radio host, Mark Levin, is not impressed with President Barack Obama's announcement Friday that he spoke by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first communication between American and Iranian leaders since 1979.

Asked for his reaction to the historic event, Levin mimed a bored yawn.
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world lead

September 27th, 2013
04:39 PM ET

What did Obama say to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani?

U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday he spoke by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first communication between American and Iranian leaders since 1979.

But Rouhani scooped Obama's announcement, sending a tweet earlier in the day that said, "In a phone conversation (between) #Iranian & #US Presidents just now: @HassanRouhani: "Have a Nice Day!" @BarackObama: "Thank you. Khodahafez.""

What does Khodahafez mean?

"It means 'God be with you,'" said CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

"In fact, it's a point of contention in the Islamic world. The Persians tend to say 'Khoda Hafez' and lots of people, it's the standard slang. But the hard line Sunnis now say 'Allah Hafez,' because they don't like the Persian word 'Khoda' which is 'God.'

"But that's inside baseball," said Zakaria.

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world lead

September 27th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

Exclusive: Mitt Romney on Syria policy 'vacillation': It was not the president's finest hour

Watch CNN at 6 p.m. ET for more of our interview on foreign policy with Mitt Romney.

President Barack Obama was criticized, by both Republicans and Democrats, on his approach to Syria. The president threatened to use force against the regime, then decided to seek Congressional approval to authorize a military strike, and then he asked Congress to delay the vote.

"I think it was not the president's finest hour," said former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "He looked like he hadn't thought it through and hadn't considered the right course in advance."

"The President of the United States as he plans what action he thinks is appropriate needs to think through all the options from the very beginning, settle on the one he considers to be the most effective, and then communicate that aggressively with whatever audience he thinks needs to hear it.

"And that was not done; it was not done with our friends in Great Britain. It was not done here. And there was vacillation here," said Romney.

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world lead

September 27th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

Exclusive: Mitt Romney on Iran: President Rouhani is not calling the shots

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made several moves recently, indicating the beginning of a new era in U.S.-Iran relations. On Friday, President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Rouhani, the first direct conversation between leaders of the United States and Iran since 1979.

But in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the U.S. should keep its guard up when it comes to Iran.

"You have to be skeptical when people say, 'We're just looking for nuclear power,' when their nation is on a lake of oil," Romney said in the interview conducted on Friday in Boston.
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