[home][about][contact] [getting involved] [Educational][Academic] [Media Watch][Views]
Iran parliament: Time to talk to US
The Iranian Majlis (parliament) says the time has come for the Islamic Republic to engage in dialogue with lawmakers in the United States.
Iran's Majlis Speaker, Ali Larijani, told reporters on Monday that the parliament is mulling over the letters received from members of the US Congress and Senate, who had put forward a request for initiating parliamentary dialogue between the two countries.
Earlier in November, Hossein Taqavi, a member of the Majlis National Security Commission, said "US congresswomen have requested a meeting with female members of Iran's Majlis."
Iran had also made public another official US request for talks between American congressmen and Iranian parliamentarians.
While attending the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in October, Iranian lawmakers reportedly received a letter from US officials in Washington, asking for a meeting.
"Majlis is currently studying the letter and we think that the time has come to hold talks between the two countries," Larijani said on Monday.
Washington-Tehran relations were cut in the aftermath of US embassy takeover in Tehran in 1980.
The two countries broke a 27-year diplomatic freeze in May 2007 during Iraq security talks and have so far held three rounds of negotiations on an ambassadorial level over the issue.
Under President George W. Bush, the US has pursued a carrot-and-stick policy toward Tehran over its nuclear program.
US President-elect Barack Obama, however, has vowed to engage Tehran in direct diplomacy in order to resolve the country's nuclear dispute.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has on many occasions expressed willingness to hold talks with US officials.
Earlier in 2006, the Iranian president wrote an 18-page letter to President Bush that touched on religious values, history and international relations. The letter was widely viewed as a offer extended to the United States for dialogue.