US senators back talks with Iran

Richard Lugar, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has urged the United States to take up direct negotiations with Iran to resolve the deadlock over Tehran's nuclear programme.

    Iran is accused of secretly developing nuclear weapons

    Lugar, a Republican, told ABC television's "This Week" programme on Sunday that talks with Iran could prove "useful" in breaking the impasse.

    He said: "Now, the Iranians are a part of the energy picture. Clearly their ties with India and with China, quite apart from others, are really critical.

    "We need to talk about that."

    He suggested that discussions on Iran's nuclear programme could be held alongside future talks about Iraq.

    Support

    Appearing on the same programme Evan Bayh, a Democratic senator, agreed that direct talks with Iran could lead to a breakthrough - but added a caveat.

    Bayh said: "I don't think there's anything to be lost by opening a dialogue with them.

    "But I don't think we should have any illusions either.

    "The Iranians are hardened people. They've made a strategic decision that they want to acquire nuclear weapons. I don't think they will respond to words alone.

    "I think we need to pursue them as best we can to show them that there will be a price to be paid if they continue to go down the nuclear path."

    Any direct meeting would mark a break in an almost three-decade pause in open bilateral relations between US and Iranian officials after the country's 1979 Islamic revolution.

    But tensions are running high with the United States pushing for tough UN Security Council action over Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.