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Former U.S. official calls for unconditional talks with Iran

Beirut, Jan 3, IRNA - A former US official has stressed unconditional talks between Iran and the United States are pivotal for sorting out problems.

Speaking to Alalam Wednesday night, Richard Murphy, former Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs, said: "We need to cling to new thoughts and approaches."

"Talks between the US and Iran should be calm and concentrated on the nuclear issue, without asking for preconditions."

He said piling pressure on Tehran and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas to recognize Israel could not set the grounds ready for major achievements.

Commenting on a report released by the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Murphy said, "The report acknowledges that Iran has no weapons program, but concerns over its uranium enrichment have not been allayed."

Stressing that the public opinion cannot stand another war in the volatile Middle East, the former US official said, "There is a balance of power between executive and legislative bodies in the US, however it is the US people who have the final say over their country's political destiny by casting their votes."

Murphy, who served during the Reagan administration, assailed the US role as a go-between to restore peace to the occupied Palestinian territories during the past seven years, asserting the November meet in Annapolis, Maryland., never managed to take off the ground.

Shifting the topic to the war-shattered Iraq, the US former official described the security conditions in Iraq as 'critical'.

... Payvand News - 01/03/08 ... --

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