Iran noncommittal about US talks



GEIR MOULSON | Associated Press

Published — Monday 4 February 2013

Last update 4 February 2013 5:22 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MUNICH: Iran’s foreign minister yesterday welcomed the United States’ willingness to hold direct talks with Tehran in the standoff over its nuclear program but didn’t commit to accepting the offer — insisting that Washington must show “fair and real” intentions to resolve the issue and complaining about “threatening rhetoric.”
Ali Akbar Salehi insisted that no Iranian “red line” is getting in the way of direct negotiations with Washington, but also pointed to deep mistrust between the two countries.
Salehi was speaking at the same international security conference where Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday said the United States was prepared talk directly to Iran. Biden insisted that Tehran must show it is serious and that Washington won’t engage in such talks merely “for the exercise.”
Meanwhile, talks involving all five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have made little headway, while several rounds of international sanctions have cut into Iran’s oil sales and financial transactions.
The next round of talks with the six powers will be held Feb. 25 in Kazakhstan, Salehi told the Munich Security Conference.
He said Biden’s comments marked “a step forward,” but indicated getting the US and Iran together for one-to-one talks will be no easy task.
“We have no red line for bilateral negotiations when it comes to negotiating over a particular subject,” Salehi said. “If the subject is the nuclear file, yes, we are ready for negotiations but we have to make sure ... that the other side this time comes with authentic intention, with a fair and real intention to resolve the issue.”
Salehi said it was “contradictory” if the US voices willingness to hold direct talks “but on the other side you use this threatening rhetoric that everything is on the table ... these are not compatible with each other.”
“We are ready for engagement only when it is on equal footing,” he said.
Last month Iran, in a defiant move, announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment. That can be used to make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads.
Vali Nasr, dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, sounded a skeptical note about direct Iran-US talks any time soon.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A small fire broke out on the roof of the Grand Mosque on Monday morning, causing minor injuries to five people, including members of the Civil Defense, one security officer and three workers. The fire broke out at about 2 a.m. and covered an...
JEDDAH: The director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, Saleh Rasheed, has said that Sadeer Industrial City, which is regarded as one of the largest industrial cities in the Kingdom, possesses great capabilities that sets it apart as...
DAMMAM: Cheap and out of date cosmetics are causing serious health problems in the Kingdom, including skin diseases, hair loss and cancer, local doctors say.These products are often manufactured incorrectly or contain harmful fats, the doctors were q...
JEDDAH: Several young Saudis have started filming Jeddah’s historic district using cameras mounted on drones to gather professional 3D footage that can be used to build models and create virtual tours.Bandar Al-Mutlaq, owner of the Arab Foundation, w...
RIYADH: The Saudi capital is fully geared for this year’s Eid Al-Fitr celebrations that include an exciting bouquet of entertainment, heritage, sports, artistic and theatrical events.The annual Muslim festivities being organized here by the Riyadh mu...
JEDDAH: As part of its growing supervisory and investigative status, Riyadh Health Department’s forensics center examined 632 cases over the past eight months involving suspected murder, rape and abuse of women and children.Khaled bin Muhammad Hassan...
RIYADH: The Syrian Expatriates Medical Association (SEMA) expressed its thanks on Monday to Saudi organizations and individuals for donating to the campaign to help Syrians affected by the ongoing conflict.SEMA has 1,300 members in Syria and other co...
RIYADH: Inclusion of the Hail rock art in the UNESCO World Heritage List is proof of the Kingdom’s status and cultural profoundness, said the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) on Monday.Reacting to the announcement of the fou...
JEDDAH: The Yemeni community has asked the Saudi government to extend the rectification process, which ends Tuesday, claiming that there are many thousands still seeking to get proper identification documents to qualify for work visas in the Kingdom....
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has set up 343 electoral constituencies for the Dec. 12 municipal council elections.This was done on the orders of Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the minister and head of the General Committee for the Munici...
JEDDAH: Efforts are under way to electronically handle all Haj-related works to achieve speed and accuracy, as well as reduce costs an bring in transparency, Haj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar has said.Speaking at a workshop in Jeddah on Sunday, Hajjar sa...
JEDDAH: The Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works on Sunday held its third meeting in Jeddah in the presence of Prince Khaled bin Abdullah, the board chairman, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has announced that six people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the period from June 28 to July 6.The ministry has now recorded 1,045 cases of MERS since June 2012, with 5...
ALKHOBAR: Patient visitations play an important role in the healing process, provided the well-wishers adopt the right approach by speaking and acting in a manner that the sick person’s morale is lifted. However, any wrong move by the visitor may aff...
MAKKAH: The price of residential land has registered a drastic 30 percent drop due to the slump in the market over the past six months, said an online newspaper.According to real estate dealers, the reason behind the decision was the imposition of 30...

Stay Connected

Facebook