Iran endorses talks if not pressured, threatened: Khazaei
VIDEO - Press TV – IRNA - (Feb 22, 2013) Iran’s permanent envoy to the UN says Tehran would engage in direct talks with Washington based on mutual respect and not under pressure and threats from the US. ( full text )
“As the representative of the Islamic Republic, I announce that Iran is not essentially against negotiations. Iranians are a civilized nation and always favor dialogue and are opposed to war,” Mohammad Khazaei said Thursday.
He made the remarks during an address to international diplomats, the elite and academics at the Asia Society in New York.
However, Iranians think that the US administration is using the strategy of negotiations in order to exert more pressure, the Iranian diplomat added.
He also stated that mutual respect, non-interference, recognition of Iran’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and showing goodwill in talks are among prerequisites for negotiations.
The Iranian envoy criticized the US government for its double-standard policy on Iran and said the pressure and diplomacy approach pursued by Washington is actually based on putting pressure on Tehran and mounting that pressure.
Speaking at the 49th annual Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 2, US Vice President Joe Biden had said Washington was ready to hold direct talks with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.
On February 7, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei rejected any talks with the United States under pressure and threats, saying, “An offer of talks makes sense only when the side [that makes the offer] shows its goodwill.”
The US has spearheaded several rounds of sanctions against Iran in recent years, based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran vehemently rejects the allegation.