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Iran Rules Out Possibility of Opening Talks with US

Iran said on Monday that it saw no possibility of opening talks with Washington during US President George W. Bush's second term as there would be no major change in US policy toward Tehran, the official IRNA News Agency reported.  

"Given that the US government has started its new term with threats, it is clear that no major change has occurred in the Americans' policy," government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh was quoted as saying.


Ramezanzadeh rejected senior US officials' recent remarks against Iran, which had aroused wide suspicion that Washington would launch military attacks on the Islamic Republic.


"We will use the same language if anyone chooses to use a language of force and threats against us. But if they opt to engage in dialogue without any precondition on an equal footing, we will consider that," Ramezanzadeh said.


Bush said on January 17 that he would not rule out military actions against Iran. Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, one day later, urged the world to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and threatened to refer Tehran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council.


At the inauguration ceremony of Bush's second term on Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney ranked Iran at top of a list of global trouble spots.


Ramezanzadeh played down the comments, saying "it is now 26 years that we have got used to the US threats."


"Neither is the US in a position to have the capacity to attack us, nor are we in a position in which anyone would dare to attack us," he added.


The United States, which has severed diplomatic relations with Tehran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has been accusing Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons and has threatened to launch preemptive attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities.


Iran rejects the charge and threat, saying its nuclear research is fully peaceful and boasting an effective deterrent power to confront its enemies in the region.


(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2005)

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