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Iranian President Offers Warm Words and Warning to US

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is willing to consider a U.S. diplomatic office in Tehran.

He made the comment Sunday in response to a question after a cabinet meeting. He said he welcomes the idea of expansion of ties between the peoples of Iran and the United States.

The Iranian president said he has not received any official request for a U.S. diplomatic office.

American media reported in June that U.S. officials are debating whether the United States should open an interests section in Tehran.

Diplomatic relations have been cut since 1980, following the November, 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian radicals.

The two countries remain at odds over the Iranian nuclear program and other issues. Iran has threatened to retaliate against Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East if Iranian nuclear facilities are attacked.

U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has repeatedly offered to start a political dialogue with Iran if Tehran heeds U.N. Security Council calls to suspend its uranium enrichment effort, which U.S. officials believe is weapons-related.

Iran operates an interests section in Washington, technically part of the embassy of Pakistan. U.S. interests in Iran are handled by the Swiss embassy.

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