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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid