December 3, 2012
The Iranian Foreign Minister has responded to Hillary Clinton’s recent declaration that the U.S. is prepared to hold bilateral talks with Iran, saying: “Topical discussions between Iran and the U.S., about Iraq and Afghanistan for instance, have already happened, and there are no obstacles to repeating them.”
Ali Akbar Salehi told IRNA today: “If the U.S. Foreign Secretary refers to topical discussions about the nuclear dossier, it is not anything major and it is already in process.”
He added, however: “If Hillary Clinton is referring to political negotiations between Iran and the U.S., Ayatollah Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic, is the decision-maker in this regard and he will decide what path is to be taken.”
Tehran and Washington have cut off diplomatic relations since 1979, when student protesters took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran, and the Swiss embassy has represented U.S. interests in Iran for more than three decades.
On Sunday, Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saidi, rejected Clinton’s proposal, saying the U.S. is only seeking to force Iran into acquiescence.
He claimed Hillary Clinton’s proposal is an attempt to “break the will of Iranians” and he added: “The U.S. aims are forcing Iran to retreat from its old stance of resistance against the U.S. system of domination and turning a non-complying system into an acquiescent one.”
On Friday November 30, Hillary Clinton said the U.S. is prepared to hold bilateral talks with Iran regarding the nuclear issue.
The U.S. has imposed widespread sanctions on Iran which, together with EU sanctions, have caused a sharp fall in Iran’s oil revenues.
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