[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.