US open to Iran’s offer of talks

The US says it is willing to accept an offer from Iran for talks on a wide range of issues.

Tehran offered “comprehensive and constructive negotiations” on Wednesday, but did not mention the key issue of its nuclear programme.

While stressing the offer “does not address our nuclear concerns” the US said it is was ready to “test Iran’s willingness to engage”.

On Friday, Russia warned against taking any military action against Iran.

The US has been urging Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme, which Washington says could be used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes only.


US state department spokesman PJ Crowley said that Iran had released a paper showing it was “open to dialogue”, although he added that: “The paper itself does not address our nuclear concerns.”

Mr Crowley said: “We will seek an early meeting and we will seek to test Iran’s willingness to engage.

“If we have a meeting, we’re going to bring up the nuclear issue, and we’ll see how Iran responds to that.”

Earlier, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana had said he was seeking an urgent meeting with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.

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