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Iran will hold direct talks with US, if necessary: President

Tehran, July 13, IRNA - Iran will hold direct talks with the United States if necessary, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday.

He said that Tehran does not need any mediator for talks with Washington and is well-prepared for direct talks.

Responding to a question after the cabinet meeting that Iran and the United States are willing to hold direct talks, he said that Iran prefers direct talks with the United States without intermediary.

"As I have previously announced, I am ready to talk with Mr Bush directly," President Ahmadinejad said.

US should not set precondition for talks

Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that the US should not set any precondition for talks with Iran and it is Iran that can set such condition.

"If the US refuses to attend the meeting, our nation will not suffer any losses to this end," he said.

Speaking to reporters, he said "We are not concerned about expansion of ties between our nation and other nations and enthusiastically welcome any contact between the two counties' artists, athletes, businessmen and industrialists."

"During my first visit to New York, Iran's Aviation Organization called for setting up a direct flight to the US and now hundred thousands of American university students and businessmen wish to visit Iran but the US administration does not allow them to do so," he said.

"Ties between the two nations should be away from relations between governments and we welcome any opportunity for expansion of ties between nations," underlined President Ahmadinejad.

On probable talks between Iran and the US on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, he said the US should not set any preconditions for talks with Iran.

"If any one wants to set preconditions for talks it is us who can do this," he said.

... Payvand News - 07/13/08 ... --

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