Rice presents US stance on Iran

The US secretary of state has said the United States would open talks with Iran if Tehran verifiably suspended its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities.

    Rice's offer is a departure from the previous US stance

    Condoleezza Rice said the United States was prepared to join European Union powers Germany, France and Britain to meet Iran if it abandoned this part of its nuclear programme.

    Iran, which is the world's fourth largest oil exporter, says its nuclear programme is for civilian energy-production. Washington and its allies accuse it of seeking to build a bomb.

    Rice said: "To underscore our commitment to a diplomatic solution and to enhance prospects for success, as soon as Iran fully and verifiably suspends its enrichment and reprocessing activities, the United States will come to the table with our EU3 colleagues and meet with Iran's representatives."   

    Rice leaves for Vienna later on Wednesday to meet the permanent five members of the UN Security Council and Germany to discuss a package of incentives and threats to get Iran to abandon its nuclear prgramme.
       
    Rice said the US had agreed on the "essential elements" of the package and she hoped Iran's government would thoroughly consider the proposal.

    A senior state department official said Russia and China also supported the package but final details still had to be worked out.
       
    "The negative choice is for the regime to maintain its current course, pursuing nuclear weapons in defiance of the international community and international obligations," said Rice in excerpts of remarks to be delivered later on Wednesday.

    "If the regime does so, it will incur only great costs," she added.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.