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Rafsanjani: Iran ready to hold un-preconditioned talks with U.S.

ISNA - Tehran Service: Foreign Policy

TEHRAN, Aug. 11 (ISNA)-Iran's Expediency Council chief stated that if the Middle East's stability was disturbed, many countries especially colonial powers would be troubled.

Hashemi Rafsanjani while warning about the consequences of provoking violence and extremist behavior in the region went on to state that the West had to pursue diplomacy not confrontation to resolve the crisis in the Middle East.

"We advise them to choose the right path. Negotiation is the best way and we are ready to negotiate at all levels. Let us place aside sarcasm and illogical preconditions; let us sit down and solve regional problems and the dispute over Iran's peaceful nuclear program. We are ready to aid them. They should know that through disturbing the region's stability they will only trouble themselves."

"The U.S. accuses us of meddling with Iraq's domestic affairs; this is while they have 150 thousand troopers in Iraq. Accusing is not the solution to this issue. This matter should be studied and reviewed fundamentally."

Elsewhere he referred to his previous statements about the U.S. condition in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The U.S. wanted to pressure us and place us under siege through occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, but now they are the ones under siege. The U.S. is not going to reach anywhere unless it changes its policies," Rafsanjani noted.

"As I had already mentioned, Iraq and Afghanistan are swamps for the U.S. and when you are trapped in a swamp, you can't get out on your own and someone should help."

Rafsanjani called the U.S. to pay attention to the existing realities in Iraq and the region without having hegemonic intentions, monopolistic policies and without hatred towards Islam, adding that the only way for the U.S. to get rid of its problems and current state was showing respect for the interests of regional nations.

Regarding Iran's peaceful nuclear issue he stated that the U.S. should place aside its accusations and excuses.

"Iran is ready to hold talks at any level over its atomic program and also those regional issues that we can help resolve, if illogical preconditions are removed."

"We have been under the International Atomic Energy Agency's supervision for years and all know that there is no deviation in Iran's nuclear issue. We are ready to talk and remove all ambiguities. "

... Payvand News - 8/11/07 ... --

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