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Obama's promise of change could affect Iran-U.S. ties: Rafsanjani

TEHRAN, Oct. 7 (Mehr News Agency) - If President Barack Obama could really deliver on his promise of change there would be positive and meaningful impacts on ties between Iran and the United States, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Tuesday.

In a meeting with Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti, whose country represents the U.S. interests section in Iran, Rafsanjani said Obama was elected president for his promise of change and many countries pinned their hopes on his promise to bring change to U.S. policy.

However, he said, "In practice one should say that nothing has really changed in U.S. policies."

Commenting on talks between 5+1 group and Iran in Geneva on October 1, Rafsanjani said, "Iran expects 5+1 group takes a positive approach in future talks."

Switzerland hosted the talks between Iran and the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany on October 1. Diplomats from 5+1 group and Iran have agreed to meet again by late October to discuss Iran's updated package of proposals.

Rafsanjani, who is also the chairman of the Assembly of Experts, added Iran has never sought to produce atomic weapons and will never do so in the future.

He also described relations between Tehran and Bern as 'cordial'.

For her part, the ambassador Livia Leu Agosti expressed hope that future talks between Iran and the 5+1 group would lead to positive cooperation and clear up ambiguities over Iran's nuclear activities.

Commenting on her country's record in mediating between different countries, the Swiss diplomat expressed hope that her country would be able to have an effective role in removing impediments to U.S.-Iran relations. She further referred to her country's potential to promote trust between Tehran and Washington.

In a separate meeting with Herbert Honsowitz, the German ambassador

to Iran, the Expediency Council chairman called for an environment under which Iran and Germany could develop friendly ties.

However, Rafsanjani complained of Germany's behavior for withdrawing its contract to complete the Bushehr nuclear project.

"Germany failed to fulfill its obligation in completing the Bushehr nuclear plant and thus it is indebted to Iranian people," Rafsanjani said.

Germany could be a good partner in developing Iran's peaceful nuclear program and Iran expects the country paves the way for such cooperation, Rafsanjani noted.

For his part, Herbert Honsowitz cited political problems as the main impediment to development of cooperation between Tehran and Berlin.

He expressed hope that in the near future such problems would be resolved.

... Payvand News - 10/08/09 ... --

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