US presence at nuclear talks 'positive': Iran

The United States said on Wednesday it was sending an envoy to Geneva to join nuclear talks with Iran for the first time, to underline to the Islamic Republic and others that Washington wanted a diplomatic solution to the impasse.

US presence at nuclear talks 'positive': Iran
Iran's foreign minister said on Thursday U.S. participation in nuclear talks was "positive."

The United States said on Wednesday it was sending an envoy to Geneva to join nuclear talks with Iran for the first time, to underline to the Islamic Republic and others that Washington wanted a diplomatic solution to the impasse.

"The American participation is positive," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference in Damascus. "We look forward to constructive engagement," he said, referring to a new round of talks in Geneva on Saturday.

Senior U.S. diplomat Williams Burns will join EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and officials from Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China for the talks.

The powers are seeking a more detailed Iranian response to their enhanced offer of financial and diplomatic incentives to halt its nuclear program.

Asked if she expected a positive response from Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said: "I don't know."

"The point we are making is that the United States is firmly behind this diplomacy and firmly behind and unified with our allies. Hopefully the Iranians will take that message," she told reporters.

A British newspaper said on Thursday the United States would announce in the next month that it plans to establish a U.S. interest section in Tehran for the first time in 30 years.

"The move will see U.S. diplomats stationed in the country," said the Guardian, describing the development as "a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his time in office."

The Bush administration said it was not changing its stance that it will join full-blown negotiations with Iran only if Tehran first shelves enrichment activity.

Reuters
Last Mod: 18 Temmuz 2008, 11:41
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