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U.S. lays down conditions for "productive" ties with Iran

MANAMA, April 14 (AFP) - A visiting US envoy said Wednesday that Washington was seeking a productive relationship with Iran after 20 years of hostility, provided the Islamic republic meets certain conditions.

"I reiterated to the emir our interest in seeing a constructive and productive relationship develop with Iran, based on Iran addressing three concerns that we share with our allies," Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk said after talks with the emir of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad ibn Issa Al-Khalifa.

"One: Iran's programme to develop weapons of mass destruction and missiles; two: opposition to the peace process, and three: support for terrorist activities and subversion," Indyk told a press conference.

The United States broke off ties with Iran in 1980 after radicals seized the US embassy and took 54 employees hostage during the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Although relations began to thaw in May 1997 with the election of the more moderate President Mohammad Khatami, Washington maintains an economic embargo on Iran.


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