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Monday, July 14, 2008
Ahmadinejad favors expanded contact between Iranian, U.S. citizens
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - President Mahmud Ahmadinejad declared on Sunday that he welcomes a U.S. proposal to set up a diplomatic outpost in Iran and to establish extensive relations between Iranian and U.S. citizens.
The Islamic Republic of Iran sees no limit to the establishment of relations with the world’s nations, even with the people of the United States, Ahmadinejad told reporters after Sunday’s cabinet session.
“Iran welcomes any proposal for improving ties even from the White House leaders,” the president asserted.
Washington Post had earlier reported that the Bush administration is considering setting up a diplomatic outpost in Iran in what would mark a dramatic official U.S. return to the country nearly 30 years after the two nations severed relations.
Asked about the report about opening a mission in Iran, the president said, “We have not yet received any official request in this regard.
“But Iran had previously proposed starting direct flights between the two countries so that hundreds of thousands of passengers including students, academics, and business travelers can directly fly to the two states,” he added.
Now, the U.S. has no diplomatic presence in Iran and relies on the Swiss Embassy in Tehran to pass messages to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Washington’s behalf and handle the affairs of U.S. citizens in the country