Mottaki urges U.S. to change its tone

December 25, 2007

TEHRAN -- The U.S. government should take positive steps to prove that it does not have malicious intentions toward Iran and that it has made a fundamental change in its approach toward the Islamic Republic, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said here on Monday.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a news conference on Friday, “We don’t have permanent enemies… what we have is a policy that is open to ending confrontation or conflict with any country that is willing to meet us on those terms.”
If Iran accepts the UN Security Council resolution to suspend its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities, “then I’m prepared to meet my counterpart any place and anytime and anywhere and we can talk about anything,” Rice added.
The fact that the United States is pursuing a policy of imposing sanctions, intensifying pressure, and insisting on illogical preconditions that violate the rights of the Iranian nation, repeating accusations contradictory to the NIE report, obstructing and threatening the commercial activities of Iran’s Western business partners, and taking a discriminatory approach in the campaign against terrorism in the region gives the lie to the U.S. contention that it is interested in negotiations with the Islamic Republic, Mottaki asserted.
In recent weeks, especially after the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was released, U.S. officials have repeatedly spoken of the need to end the tension and adopt a policy of holding direct talks with the Islamic Republic, which shows that they have gotten a better understanding of Iran’s key role in the region and its determination to obtain its legal rights, he said.
However, the United States’ actions do not match its words, he added.
As the country’s high-ranking officials have repeatedly announced, “we welcome a more respectful and logical approach toward the Islamic Republic, and believe that the ground can be prepared for deferential interactions through mutual respect, desisting from making baseless accusations, and refraining from taking inappropriate actions,” the foreign minister stated