President Obama isn't ruling out the possibility the U.S. could one day reopen an embassy in Iran.

Obama was asked in an NPR interview whether he could envision opening an embassy there during his final two years in office. Obama replied, "I never say never," but said ties must be restored in steps.

Obama says Iran is different from Cuba, where the U.S. plans to open an embassy. He says Cuba is small and poses no major threat to the U.S., while Iran is large, has sponsored terrorism and has sought nuclear capabilities.

Still, Obama says he hopes the U.S. and Iran can reach a nuclear deal so Iran can rejoin the world community. He says he hopes that would lead to improved relations with the U.S.