Iran says ready for fair talks,wants real US change

Iran is ready for talks with the United States based on mutual respect but wants real US policy change,the president said on Tuesday....

Written by Reuters | Tehran | Published: February 11, 2009 1:21:45 am

Iran is ready for talks with the United States based on mutual respect but wants real US policy change,the president said on Tuesday,in his most measured remarks to America since President Barack Obama took office.

Obama said in his first White House news conference on Monday that he saw the possibility of diplomatic openings with Iran in the months ahead.

The US and its Western allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons,a charge Tehran denies. Despite a new approach,Obama’s administration has also warned Iran of tougher sanctions if it does not halt its disputed nuclear work.

“The new US administration has announced that they want to produce change and pursue the course of dialogue,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a rally to mark the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. “It is quite clear that real change must be fundamental and not tactical. It is clear the Iranian nation welcomes real changes,” he said,adding: “The Iranian nation is ready to hold talks but talks in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect.”

Obama’s administration,like Bush’s,has refused to rule out military action if needed but says it wants tough diplomacy. “We will be looking for openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table face-to-face,” Obama said on Tuesday,adding Iran must stop pursuing nuclear weapons,end support for terrorist groups and cease “bellicose language” toward Israel.

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