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Updated: September 12, 2009 09:32 IST

US to accept Iran’s offer of talks

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures during a press conference in in Tehran recently. Photo: AP
AP
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gestures during a press conference in in Tehran recently. Photo: AP

US will accept Iran’s offer of talks but maintained that nuclear issue would be the central part of it, even as Tehran in its proposal has insisted that it would not negotiate over the future of its nuclear programme.

“We will seek an early meeting and we will seek to test Iran’s willingness to engage,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters.

The meeting could be even before the annual General Assembly meeting of the United Nations in New York later this month.

“We are seeking a meeting because, ultimately, the only way that we feel we are going to be able to resolve these issues are to have a meeting. But it is not just a meeting for meeting’s sake. It is a meeting to be able to see if Iran is willing to engage seriously on these issues,” Crowley said.

“Clearly, from the standpoint of the international community, the central issue that we have is the nuclear issue. If we have talks, we will plan to bring up the nuclear issue. We will hope, as we said earlier this week in the IAEA, that Iran will choose to engage the international community to address the concerns that we have about the nuclear program,” he said.

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