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Iran non-committal over US’ offer for direct nuclear talks

Last Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 13:53

Washington: Iran’s foreign minister has welcomed the United States’ willingness to hold direct talks with Tehran in the standoff over its nuclear program, but did not commit to accepting the offer.

Iran insisted that Washington must show ‘fair and real’ intentions to resolve the issue and complaining about ‘threatening rhetoric’.

Ali Akbar Salehi insisted that no Iranian ‘red line’ is getting in the way of direct negotiations with Washington, but also pointed to deep mistrust between the two countries, Politico reports.

Salehi was speaking at the same international security conference where US Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday said that America was prepared to talk directly with Iran.

Biden insisted that Tehran must show it is serious and that Washington won’t engage in such talks merely ‘for the exercise’.

Washington has indicated in the past that it’s prepared to talk directly with Iran on the nuclear issue, but so far nothing has come of it.

Salehi said it was ‘contradictory’ if the US voices willingness to hold direct talks “but on the other side you use this threatening rhetoric that everything is on the table … these are not compatible with each other,” the report said.

According to the report, Iran insisted it does not want nuclear arms and argued it has a right to enrich uranium for a civilian nuclear power program, but suspicion persists that the real aim is to build an atomic bomb.

Last month Iran, in a defiant move, announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, the report added.


First Published: Monday, February 4, 2013 - 10:40

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