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Larijani: Iran waiting for concrete US offer

Source: Press TV

Ali LarijaniThe Islamic Republic says it is waiting for a 'concrete' offer from the new US administration to help resolve dispute over its nuclear case.

"The dispute over the nuclear issue is not an unsolvable problem if we stop being entrenched in our positions," Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said in an interview on Sunday with the German Suddeutsche Zeitungnewspaper.

"We are ready to talk without pre-conditions. But for that, we need a real starting point," the former nuclear negotiator added.

"If the Americans are really willing to resolve the problems, then they must present their concept," he said.

In an apparent shift from the Bush administration's policy on Iran, US President Barack Obama has vowed to engage diplomatically with Iran, saying he will back 'tough and direct diplomacy' as a means to end the controversy surrounding Tehran's nuclear program.

Larijani made the remark a day after Vice President Joe Biden outlined the new US administration's foreign policy in Munich on Saturday, saying that Washington would move toward direct talks with Iran but at the same time spoke of a continued tough stance.

"Our administration does not believe in a clash of civilizations. There is nothing inevitable about that," said Biden.

The Iranian speaker pointed to 'inadequate' declarations in US official's interviews and speeches saying that 'Iran so far has not received any concrete offer from President Barack Obama's administration'.

"We have heard in media that the Americans would also be ready to talk with us without pre-conditions. But the old cliches about carrots and sticks continue nevertheless," he said.

The US, Israel and their European allies -- Britain, France and Germany -- accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program.

The UN nuclear watchdog, however, has confirmed in its November and latest report that Iran has only enriched uranium-235 to a level 'less than 5 percent' -- a rate consistent with the development of a nuclear power plant.

Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

Western powers have offered Iran a package of political and economic incentives to convince the country to halt its uranium enrichment program.

This is while the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- to which Tehran is a signatory -- grants Iran the right to enrich uranium for civilian purposes.

... Payvand News - 02/09/09 ... --

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