Iran breakthrough possible with new president, former ambassador Taylor says

The Canadian Press

BANFF, Alta. - The man who served as Canada's ambassador in Tehran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution says a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran could be in sight.

Ken Taylor says Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, is a "remarkable man" who is both familiar with the West and has the trust of his country's top Islamic clerics.

He says it's possible Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama could run into each other in the halls of the United Nations in New York next week.

Taylor admits there's a "lack of mutual trust" when it comes to talks between Iran and Western nations, but he says he hopes new negotiations won't be held back by past failures.

During his posting in Iran, Taylor helped six American hostages flee the country and he's said Canada's role was underplayed in the 2012 Ben Affleck film "Argo."

But in remarks to the Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., Taylor called the movie a "marvellous work of entertainment" and says his wife had to nudge him and remind him how it ended when they were watching it together.