Iranian President Willing To Consider U.S. Diplomatic Office In Tehr


14.07.2008 16:07 GMT+04:00

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is willing to consider
a U.S. diplomatic office in Tehran.

He made the comment Sunday in response to a question after a cabinet
meeting. He said he welcomes the idea of expansion of ties between
the peoples of Iran and the United States.

The Iranian president said he has not received any official request
for a U.S. diplomatic office.

American media reported in June that U.S. officials are debating
whether the United States should open an interests section in Tehran.

Diplomatic relations have been cut since 1980, following the November,
1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian radicals.

The two countries remain at odds over the Iranian nuclear program
and other issues. Iran has threatened to retaliate against Israel
and U.S. bases in the Middle East if Iranian nuclear facilities
are attacked.

U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice has repeatedly offered to start
a political dialogue with Iran if Tehran heeds U.N. Security Council
calls to suspend its uranium enrichment effort, which U.S. officials
believe is weapons-related.

Iran operates an interests section in Washington, technically part
of the embassy of Pakistan. U.S. interests in Iran are handled by
the Swiss embassy, the VoA reports.