U.S. President Barack Obama says he is prepared to work with Iran
"without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect" to resolve
issues between the two countries.
But in his speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, Mr. Obama reiterated the U.S. position that Iran must not be allowed to pursue nuclear weapons.
The United States and its Western allies fear Iran's uranium enrichment activities are being used to create nuclear weapons. Tehran insists that its nuclear program is for the peaceful purpose of civilian energy.
President Obama said the opposition to Tehran developing a nuclear weapon is aimed at preventing a nuclear arms race in the region.
He also said no single nation should decide which countries have nuclear weapons. But he "strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons."
Mr. Obama acknowledged what he called a "tumultuous history" between the United States and Iran.
He said that during the Cold War, Washington played a role in the overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government . Analysts believe this is the first time a U.S. president has publicly acknowledged a U.S. role in the 1953 coup that toppled Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq.
Ready to move forward
Mr. Obama also said that since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians.
He said that the United States is ready to move forward and asked what type of future Iran wants to build.
In an April interview on U.S. television, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his government is working on a package of proposals for U.S. talks and plans on releasing it soon.