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Sunday, February 03, 2013

All options are on the table: Biden offers Iran direct talks, Iran calls it 'progress'

Now that the elections are over and President Obama has 'more flexibility' all options are on the table. Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States is ready to have direct talks with Iran.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Biden said Iran - which says it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy only - now faced "the most robust sanctions in history" meant to ensure it does not use its program to develop nuclear weapons.
"But we have also made clear that Iran's leaders need not sentence their people to economic deprivation and international isolation," Biden said. "There is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed. The ball is in the government of Iran's court."
To date, fitful talks on Iran's nuclear program have been between Tehran and the EU's top diplomat representing six world powers including Washington. But analysts have suggested that with his re-election behind him, President Barack Obama might have more leeway to take on direct negotiations with Iran.


Asked whether Washington might consider direct talks with Iran to smooth the process, Biden said, "When the Iranian leadership, Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), is serious.
"We have made it clear at the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally with the Iranian leadership, we would not make it a secret that we were doing that, we would let our partners know if that occasion presented itself.
But if Obama and Biden really want to talk to Iran, they're apparently going to have to beg
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said a suggestion on Saturday by US Vice President Joe Biden that Washington was ready for direct talks with Iran if Tehran was serious about negotiations was a "step forward".
"We take these statements with positive consideration. I think this is a step forward but ... each time we have come and negotiated it was the other side unfortunately who did not heed ... its commitment," Salehi said at the Munich Security Conference where Biden made his overture a day earlier.
He also complained to Iran's English-language Press TV of "other contradictory signals", pointing to the rhetoric of "keeping all options on the table" used by US officials to indicate they are willing to use force to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
"This does not go along with this gesture (of talks) so we will have to wait a little bit longer and see if they are really faithful this time," Salehi said.
"That offer stands, but it must be real and tangible and there has to be an agenda that they are prepared to speak to. We are not just prepared to do it for the exercise."
What could go wrong?

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At 11:57 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Iran will demand a few preconditions among them complete abandonment of all the Jews everywhere on the planet. Not even Obama will agree to that.


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