A group of influential Democratic senators led by John Kerry has called for a 'limited diplomatic presence' of the United States in Iran.
In a letter to President George W. Bush, leading Democratic senators backed the idea of opening of a US interests section in Iran.
"A limited diplomatic presence in Iran would improve our understanding of the competing political factions that influence Tehran's decision-making," reads the letter.
Iran and the US severed diplomatic ties shortly after the 1979 victory of the Islamic Revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi regime.
"We believe it (opening an interest section) is a step in the right direction with the Iranian people. If it comes to pass, we look forward to working with your Administration to provide any necessary congressional support," the letter adds.
Carl Levin of Michigan, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Diane Feinstein of California and Patty Murray of Washington have signed the letter. Kerry and Feingold sit on the Senate foreign relations committee.
"We know that a hands-off approach has isolated us and strengthened Iran. The administration's decision to reverse course and join direct talks with Tehran is the right one, however late," Senator Kerry of Massachusetts said Thursday in support of the idea.
The Guardian reported last week that the Bush administration may be preparing to open a diplomatic office in Tehran to handle visa requests by Iranian nationals with relatives in the US.
The Democrats who have signed the letter all support Democratic presidential nominee-to-be Barack Obama, who has affirmed that he would meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if he is elected president.
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