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Ahmadinejad slammed over talk on US ties

Iran and the United States have no diplomatic relations since November 1980.



Tehran: Influential conservative MPs and
media slammed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday for
repeatedly talking about resuming ties with the United States
during his visit to the UN General Assembly.

"Expressing an interest in resumption of ties with
America and saying in an interview that lack of such relations
is a loss for both nations is not appropriate," ultra-
Conservative MP Ali Motahari was quoted as saying by the
conservative Khabaronline.ir website.

"We believe that the lack of a relationship is to the
disadvantage of both countries and it is necessary that the US
officials change their attitude a little to solve problems,"
the presidency website quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in one of
the many interviews he gave in New York.

Ahmad Tavakoli, another influential conservative
parliamentarian, said: "The approach of some is contrary to
the interests of the country," according to media reports.

Other officials and conservative media have also
criticised Ahmadinejad, saying that any decision on a possible
resumption of talks or ties with Washington was up to Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Ahmadinejad.

"It was the American government which unilaterally
severed relations. We believe that there is no reason for
tension and we are ready for interaction and dialogue based on
mutual respect and fair conditions," Ahmadinejad also said in
an interview with the ABC network.

He also welcomed the idea of an emergency hot line
between Tehran and Washington, suggested by the United States
after a series of close encounters between US and Iranian
forces in the Gulf.

"Any tool that can prevent clashes and potential conflict
will be welcome. And I don`t think there is any need for
confrontation," Ahmadinejad said at a news conference at the
UN.

Iran and the United States have no diplomatic relations
since November 1980 when Islamist students stormed the
American embassy in Tehran, after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The Islamic republic has called the United States the
"Great Satan" ever since.

PTI

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