[QODLink]
Archive
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

Last Modified: 17 Apr 2006 06:20 GMT
Iran is accused of secretly developing nuclear weapons

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.

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
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.