Source: Tehran Times
The United States is open to bilateral talks about Iran's nuclear program if Tehran is "ever ready," Reuters quoted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as saying on Friday.
The U.S. and its allies claim that Iran may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the claim, saying its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes such as power generation and producing medical isotopes.
Speaking to a group of officials, experts, and diplomats from the U.S. and the Middle East, Clinton said that the Obama administration is prepared for bilateral talks with Iran.
For now, Clinton said Washington is working with the so-called 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) to resume talks with Iran about its nuclear program.
"We are working on the P5+1 and making our willingness known that we are ready to have a bilateral discussion if they are ever ready to engage," said Clinton, who has said she plans to step down as secretary of state next year.
While giving no details, Clinton said the 5+1 group was trying to craft a proposal to Iran "that does make it clear we are running out of time. We have got to get serious; here are issues we are willing to discuss with you but we expect reciprocity."
In October, diplomats had said they were considering asking Iran for stricter limits on its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions in a long-shot approach aimed at yielding a solution that has eluded them for a decade.
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