Publishe Date: 9:46 PM - 9/29/2013 | Print

Mere phone call won’t normalize Iran-US ties: Iranian official

Politics - Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs says a single phone call will not thaw the long history of tension-laden relations between Tehran and Washington.

“We are still at the beginning of a long path. Furthermore, we have our doubts, and, as the Leader [of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] said, one cannot be optimistic about these talks; but this is a path the Leader has also said is not opposed to,” Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday.

Referring to the White House’s request for a meeting between the presidents of the two countries, Araqchi said Hassan Rouhani declined the offer because arranging such a meeting after a long history of tense relations involved many complications.

Araqchi added that after Iran declined the White House’s request for a meeting, the idea of the phone conversation between the presidents came about during consultations among Iran’s representatives to the UN and American officials.

Rouhani received the call from Obama on Friday before departing the John F. Kennedy International Airport for Tehran.

The two presidents stressed Tehran and Washington’s political will to swiftly resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program, and exchanged viewpoints on various topics, including cooperation on different regional issues.

The conversation was the first direct communication between an Iranian a US president since Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Araqchi said Tehran has never fully trusted the US and would not do so in the future.

“Negotiations will become more serious if the Americans show a proper response in the future and if such a change in tone and language leads to a change in approach and a change in policies and actions,” Araqchi added.

 

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