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Rafsanjani says US sending positive signals for ties with Iran

Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Thursday that Americans have been sending positive signals over ties with Iran for several months, IRNA reported.

"I am not sure but there are signals to that effect," said afsanjani when asked whether the signals would be an ice breaking move for resumption of ties between the two countries.

Rafsanjani's remarks follow a decision by the US on Wednesday to waive its sanctions on the Islamic state for 90 days, thus easing delivery of aid to victims of the recent killer quake in the historical city of Bam, in southeast Iran.

On Wednesday, the United States cited Iran's "extraordinary humanitarian needs" to justify its decision to suspend for 90 days its restrictions on sending cash and equipment to the Islamic republic.

"The Iranian people deserve and need the assistance of the international community to help them recover," White House spokesman Trent Duffy said in a statement. "The American people want to help."

The US Treasury issued a general license temporarily enabling US citizens and non-governmental organizations to make direct contributions of dollars to Iranian and other organizations for relief work in and around Bam.

The State Department said it was allowing the US government and US NGOs to export to Iran sensitive items like transportation equipment, satellite telephones, and radio and personal computing items.

Kharrazi welcomes US suspension of sanctions
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in Tehran on Thursday that despite being temporary, the US move to waive sanctions on Iran for a period of three months is "positive".

Kharrazi said, "We too alike Iranians residing in the US welcome it (the US move) because they will be able to speed cash donations to their quake-stricken fellow countrymen."

He said that principally the US sanctions against Iran had been futile, depriving the US companies and Iranians residing in the US more than anybody else.

He added that naturally permanent and total lifting of sanctions by the US can create a new atmosphere in bilateral relations.

US envoy signs quake memorial book
US Representative at the United Nations James Cunningham Wednesday signed a memorial book opened to commemorate the victims of the killer quake in southeastern Iran at the Islamic Republic's permanent mission in New York.

Cunningham expressed his deep sympathy for the survivors of the devastating quake in Bam which claimed 30,000 lives and injured tens of thousands of others.

So far, tens of foreign envoys and representatives as well as several cultural and scientific scholars from different world countries have attended the Iranian mission here and signed the memorial book for the Bam quake.

A killer earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 degrees on the Richter scale almost flattened the historic city of Bam in Southeast Iran, at 05:28 local time (0158 GMT) Friday.

... Payvand News - 1/1/04 ... --

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