Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - Page 6 News List

Tehran seeking a ‘concrete’ offer from Washington

AFP , BERLIN

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, in an interview released on Sunday, said Tehran is ready to talk with Washington “without pre-conditions” but is waiting for a “concrete” offer from the new US administration.

“The dispute over the nuclear issue is not an unsolvable problem if we stop being entrenched in our positions,” Larijani told the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung.

“We are ready to talk without pre-conditions. But for that, we need a real starting point,” he said in the interview to be published yesterday.

“It the Americans are really willing to resolve the problems, then they must present their concept,” he said.

The interview came one day after US Vice President Joe Biden cautiously reached out to Iran at an international security conference in Munich, Germany.

“We will be willing to talk to Iran, and to offer a very clear choice: continue down the current course and there will be continued pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear program and your support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives,” Biden said.

Larijani said Iran so far has not received “any concrete offer” from US President Barack Obama’s administration and that “declarations in interviews or in speeches” were not enough.

“We have heard in media that the Americans would also be ready to talk with us without pre-conditions. But the old cliches about carrots and sticks continue nevertheless,” he said.

Biden’s comments marked a break between Obama and former US president George W. Bush.

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