SHARE 15 19 3 COMMENTMORE

President Obama isn't disappointed that he didn't meet with new Iranian president Hasan Rouhani this week at the United Nations, said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

The important thing is negotiations in which Iran verifies it is not seeking the means to make nuclear weapons, he added.

Obama "was open to the possibility of an informal encounter with President Rouhani and remains open to that," Carney said, but that should not obscure the fact that Iran is signaling it its open to in-depth negotiations.

"We should not over-interpret the fact that the Iranians decided against having an encounter, and that it was too complicated in terms of assigning meaning to that about the potential for progress in negotiations," Carney said.

U.S. and Iranian leaders have not met in 36 years.