News / Middle East

Iran Says US Should Be Willing to Talk Without Conditions

In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, greets Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi before a meeting in Ankara, Jan. 18, 2012.
In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, right, greets Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi before a meeting in Ankara, Jan. 18, 2012.

Iran says the United States should make it clear that it is ready to hold talks without conditions, and urged other countries in the Middle East to not put themselves in a "dangerous position."

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments Thursday during a visit to Turkey.

They come a day after the United States said it is open to resuming negotiations with Iran about its controversial nuclear program if Tehran is "serious" about discussing it openly.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday it is up to Iran to rejoin talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, a group known as the P5+1.  The parties last met a year ago.

An Iranian politician said Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama had sent a letter to Iran calling for direct talks. But the Obama administration did not confirm such contact.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that any communications that have or may have taken place are "the same in private as they have been in public," and that the path forward is through multi-party talks.

He said increasing pressure on Iran from the United States and "many international allies" is a direct result of Tehran's refusal to engage in "serious discussions" about its nuclear program.

Iran's Salehi said Wednesday any new negotiations likely would be held in Istanbul.

The U.S. State Department responded later that there have been no discussions about holding a new round of talks.

Meanwhile, U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey is visiting Israel Thursday for talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, including U.S. and Israeli concerns that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

The meeting comes a day after Barak said any decision about a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program is "very far off."

Israel and its key ally the United States have not ruled out using military force to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb. But U.S. officials publicly have been urging Israel to avoid unilateral action and give more time for diplomatic pressure and sanctions on Iran to work.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday a military strike on Iran would be a "catastrophe" and would inflame tensions between Sunnis and Shi'ites in the region.

Lavrov also said sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and European Union appear designed to hurt the Iranian economy rather than achieve the goal of nuclear non-proliferation. Russia has supported several rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran in recent years but says it will not approve any more.

EU foreign ministers are set to finalize a proposed crude oil embargo on Iran to begin July 1 when they meet Monday in Brussels.

The EU also is likely to ban imports of Iranian petrochemical products and exports of key technology intended for Iran's petrochemical industry. An EU oil embargo would deprive Iran of vital foreign currency income.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid