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Iran not to prejudge Obama administration: FM spokesman

Tehran, Feb 11, IRNA - Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said Iran was not willing to prejudge the performance of the US President, Barack Obama, on relations with Iran.

Making the remarks during his Wednesday morning news briefing, the spokesman alluded to the recent remarks of a number of American officials on direct talks with Iran.

Qashqavi said all issues put forward so far regarding the matter were all but speculations in press and media and Iran has not received anything officially yet.

He further voiced Iran's readiness to engage in such an initiative provided it was based on the two principles declared by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during the massive rallies on Tuesday to mark the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran 30 years ago. Ahmadinejad said any such talks should be based on fairness and mutual respect.

In answer to a question about Obama's remarks that the US was extending its hand towards Iran and wanted Tehran to unclench its fist, Qashqavi said Iran never showed a clenched fist to others and it was the neocon strategy during the former American president, George Bush, that imposed war and unilateral policies on regional nations.

Stressing that Iran had always advocated approaches based on logic, dialogue and interaction, the foreign ministry spokesman voiced Iran's readiness to work to remove the problems plaguing the region due to the wrong policies of the former American administration.

He said Iran was patiently waiting to see what is really happening in practical arenas not in the realm of rhetoric.

Referring to Ahmadinejad's remarks in which he declared Iran's readiness to engage in talks with the US, Qashqavi said the most rational thing to get prepared for such talks was for the American administration to stop its too-much-repeated allegations and false accusations against Iran.

He further recommended people not to offer presuppositions about the campaign motto of "change" advocated by Obama and said the world should judge his performance after he has been given the chance to materialize his motto.

US should abandon carrot-stick policy

Qashavi recommended that the new US administration abandon its carrot and stick policy and avoid threatening others.

He called on the new US administration to observe the rules of negotiation, one of them being the mutual respect.

"If by the sticks they mean the sanctions then it should be noticed that those are useless as figures showed that the volumes of Iran's trade have increased under difficult conditions," Qashqavi said, speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference.

Asked if Tehran had any plans for holding talks with the US, the spokesman said Iran's position in this connection was announced by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his address to a huge gathering on the occasion of the 30th victory anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

"Our position is what was said by the president. We are ready for the talks based on justice and mutual respect and with no accusations," Qashqavi said.

He stressed what was said by the president was "definitely based on the Constitution."

In his address to the people who gathered in Tehran's Azadi Square on February 10 to celebrate the victory anniversary of the Islamic revolution, the president said, "The new US administration has announced that it wants to make changes and proceed the path to dialogue; it's very clear that the real changes should be fundamental and not tactical. Obviously, the Iranian nation welcomes true changes. The Iranian nation is ready for talks but the talks should be in a fair atmosphere on mutual respect."

Qashqavi rejected some reports relating President Ahmadinejad's remarks to the next presidential elections to be held in Iran next spring.

"Those are unwise analyses resulted from the lack of true understanding from Iran's realities," stressed the spokesman.

He added that holding elections in Iran is a domestic issue while making decisions about entering any talks with the US "is a special issue which should be discussed through a special procedure."

Qashqavi said that all Iranian officials share the same position on the issue of conducting talks with the US.

... Payvand News - 02/11/09 ... --

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