US to join nuclear talks with Iran

April 9th, 2009 - 6:23 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, April 9 (DPA) The US said Wednesday it would join other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in talks with Iran over its suspected nuclear programme.
Confirming this, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana was asked to invite the Iranian government to meet representatives of the so-called P5+1, which comprises the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Britain, China, France and Russia - plus Germany.

The US “will be at the table from now on,” Wood said, indicating a significant shift from former president George W. Bush’s stand that US participation in any talks with Iran would depend on its suspension of all nuclear work.

“If Iran accepts, we hope this will be the occasion to seriously engage Iran on how to break the logjam of recent years and work in a cooperative manner to resolve the outstanding international concerns about its nuclear programme,” Wood said.

“Any breakthrough will be the result of the collective efforts of all the parties, including Iran.”

Earlier Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed overtures for better relations by US President Barack Obama, but said that Tehran was still waiting for real changes in the new US administration’s policies.

Obama, in a message last month on the occasion of the Persian New Year, said he wanted better ties with the Islamic republic and offered a new start in relations after decades of mistrust.

“We are still waiting for practical and essential changes in the US policies,” Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the central city of Isfahan during an official visit.

“What the esteemed president of America is saying must be seen in practice, otherwise nothing would change by words,” Ahmadinejad said.

In a shift from the policies of his predecessor, who branded Iran as part of an “axis of evil,” Obama offered a hand of peace to Tehran if it “unclenches its fist.”

“(The) Iranian nation would welcome a hand if extended sincerely with respect,” Ahmadinejad said. “If this hand appears to be honest but it is dishonest inwardly then our response would be the same as before.”

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