Iran warming to U.S. talks?

TEHRAN, June 3 (UPI) -- Iran is considering talks with Washington but has adopted a wait-and-see attitude based on firm policy initiatives from the U.S. administration, officials say.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi said in his weekly news conference that Tehran was considering the issue of engaging Washington, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reports.


"The overall issue of Iran-U.S. talks is clear and the American side has made some remarks that we are studying and assessing attentively and respectfully," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama has embraced a policy of engagement in an effort to restore the American reputation in the world community, suffering from what some analysts say resulted from years of isolationism under the previous administration of George W. Bush.

Obama has delivered modest conciliatory messages to Tehran, though officials there have said they are waiting for more than just words from Washington.

Regardless, incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ruled out the possibility of holding any talks with Washington before Iranians head to the polls June 12.

"We said we will have no talks before the election," he said.

Iran holds presidential elections June 12. Ahmadinejad is running against former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi, former military commander Mohsen Rezaei and former Parliamentary Speaker Mehdi Karroubi.


Washington will watch the outcome closely, though significant developments are not expected until the current Ahmadinejad term expires in August.

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