Mottaki: Iran ready for talks with US but expects more respect

thecheers.org    2007-12-24 16:29:21    

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Monday that Iran would be ready to resume talks with the United States but first expected more respect from Washington towards the Islamic Republic.
Tehran (dpa) - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Monday that Iran would be ready to resume talks with the United States but first expected more respect from Washington towards the Islamic Republic.

"We welcome any rational and respectful approach (by the US) and believe that by stopping baseless allegations against Iran, grounds for more understanding (between the two states) could gradually be prepared," the website of state television network IRIB quoted Mottaki as saying.

Mottaki was referring to Friday's news conference by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said she would be ready to meet her Iranian counterpart if Tehran followed United Nations Security Council resolutions and suspended uranium enrichment.

"The Americans must prove (their sincere will for talks) in practice by dropping previous hostilities and adopting new positions," Mottaki added.

The Iranian foreign minister however once again rejected any preconditions for resuming talks with Washington, especially the demand for suspending the enrichment process.

Mottaki termed any US charges on Iran following military nuclear projects as contrary to the US intelligence report released earlier this month which verified that Iran had halted its atomic weapons programme in 2003 and seemed less determined to develop nuclear arms than the administration of President George W Bush previously believed.

Following the report, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad termed a "political victory," Tehran called on the US to stop its accusations and allow the Iranian nuclear dossier be returned from the UN Security Council to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The two countries have had no formal diplomatic relations since US embassy staff in Tehran were taken hostage for 444 days in 1979-81.

President Ahmadinejad has twice called for a debate with his US counterpart over world developments, saying that the move "would be useful for solving the roots of world problems."

Ahmadinejad also said that such a discussion could furthermore be a basis for resuming official talks with the US after almost three decades of political estrangement.


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