Publishe Date: 9:15 PM - 9/18/2013 | Print

Obama sees ‘chance for dialog’ with Iran

Politics - US President Barack Obama says there seems to be an opportunity for dialog with Iran under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani, saying Washington is willing to test that chance.

“There are indications that Rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialog with the West and with the United States, in a way that we haven't seen in the past. And so we should test it,” Obama said in an interview aired Tuesday by Spanish-language network Telemundo, Reuters reported.

Obama’s recent remarks come following earlier comments by him last weekend in an interview with the ABC, during which he said he had exchanged letters with his Iranian counterpart.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday that Obama had, in a letter, congratulated Rouhani on his election as Iran’s president, and that Rouhani had written back to Obama and had thanked him for the message and expressed his views on several subjects.

Referring to Rouhani’s upcoming visit to New York to attend the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Afkham said On Tuesday, “No meeting with American officials is on the agenda during Dr. Rouhani’s trip.”

“However,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said, “should the process within the framework of [the negotiations with] the P5+1 play out in such a way that a meeting is planned, that will be done (a meeting will be held) within the noted framework.”

Afkham said earlier on Monday that the Obama administration must realize that the language of threat will have no impact on the Iranian nation and government’s resolve to protect their nuclear rights, including the right to enrichment.

Interaction with Iran is only possible through a language of respect, she said.

“As President Rouhani recently announced, we are against the prolongation of the nuclear negotiations and believe that if the other side has the necessary resolve, a solution to this issue can be quickly found,” Afkham said.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union using the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.

Tehran strongly rejects the claim against its nuclear energy program, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


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