Friday, May 19, 2006

Rice Rejects Kissinger Call for Talks with Iran

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Monsters and
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday rejected a call by a predecessor - Henry Kissinger - for Washington to negotiate with Iran. Rice pointed to diplomatic efforts by the European trio of France, Britain and Germany to persuade Iran to rein in its nuclear activities. The US has backed that diplomacy.

'There are many ways that we can communicate our concerns, and we do so,' Rice said after talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al- Faisal. READ MORE

Kissinger in a newspaper article this week called for the US, Russia and China to join the European trio at the table with Iran.

Rice said she appreciated his advice, but made plain that the US administration is sticking by its refusal to talk with Iran despite a flurry of calls in the US to change its stance.

The US broke diplomatic relations with Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution and the storming of the US embassy in Tehran, where Iranian students held US diplomats hostage for more than a year. Swiss diplomats have served as intermediaries since then.

Al-Faisal expressed concern about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, a goal Iran denies it is pursuing.

'What we have anxiety about is the stability and security of our region, and definitely the spread of atomic weapons or the threat of spread of atomic weapons in the region is a threat to the countries of the region,' the Saudi minister said.