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Khamenei adviser: Iran ready for talks with Washington

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Iran is ready to discuss its nuclear programme with the United States, the adviser to the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday during a visit to Syria.
“While we do not have any faith in the American government… Iran is ready for talks on its nuclear programme,” Ali Akbar Velayati told reporters at a news conference in the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

“Iran has reservations about the composition of the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) but remains committed to resolving the problem through dialogue,” he said.
Last week Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was ready for face-to-face talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama on “global issues.”

On Sunday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington remains “open to engagement” with Iran while adding that Tehran had “to reassure the international community by words and actions as to what their nuclear program is intended for.”

Iran atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi had said late last month that Tehran was ready for immediate talks with the United States, Russia and France over an exchange of nuclear fuel, a plan that the world powers led by Washington had previously cold-shouldered.

The Security Council backed a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran on June 9 in an effort to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The sanctions were followed by unilateral punitive measures imposed by the United States and the European Union.

Washington and other world powers suspect that Iran is masking a weapons drive under the guise of a civilian atomic programme. Tehran insists its nuclear programme has no military aims.

© 2010 AFP

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