Better US-Iran ties after elections: AhmadinejadJuly 15th, 2008 - 5:30 am ICT by IANS
Tehran, July 15 (DPA) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Monday said that relations between Iran and the US would improve following the US presidential election. “Regardless of who would become next (US) president, whether from this (Democratic) or that (Republican) party, that person would have more understanding with Iran,” Ahmadinejad told state television.
“The probability of talks in the future between the two sides in certain fields definitely exists,” he said.
Without officially admitting it, Iran clearly favours Democratic candidate Barack Obama as the next US president, especially as Obama has several times spoken in favour of resuming diplomatic talks with Iran.
Another reason for favouring Obama is his second name Hussein which is also the name of the third Shiite Imam who is highly respected in Iran.
Ahmadinejad further said there are already several requests by US non-governmental sections through the Swiss embassy - representing US interests in Iran - to hold talks with Iran, adding that these talks would eventually be held in line with national interests.
“Except for the Zionist regime, we are willing to talk all countries, including the US,” the president said.
Ahmadinejad once again welcomed US plans to set up an interests section, a form of de facto embassy without full embassy status, in Tehran.
“There is no official request yet, but if (there was), we would definitely consider it with a positive approach,” he said.
There have been US press reports and official indications that Washington was considering opening an interests section in Tehran which would also issue visas for Iranian nationals with relatives in the US.
Although the plan to open an interests section in Tehran has not yet been confirmed by Washington, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she wished to see more Iranians visiting the US.
Iranians themselves would definitely welcome the opening of an interest section in Tehran as currently they have to go to neighbouring Dubai or Istanbul to apply for a visa and pay at least 1,000 dollars per trip.
Diplomatic relations between Iran and the US were broken off after the 444-day occupation of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 by radical Iranian students.
Earlier Monday, Ahmadinejad showed himself much harsher towards the US when he predicted the “abolishment” of the United States empire in the Gulf and Middle East region, ISNA news agency reported.
Iran has in recent days reiterated several times that recent missile tests by the Revolutionary Guards were no threat to the Gulf states, but just a reaction to military threats by the US and Israel to hit Iran’s nuclear sites.