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US Rebuffs Direct Talks with Iran
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The United States remained reluctant to have direct talks with hostile Iran on Thursday, insisting there are many ways for communication between Washington and Tehran.

"Our view at this point is that there are plenty of channels of communication if the Iranians want to pass information to us or we want to pass information to them," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said at a news briefing.

The spokesman also said that problems that Iran has right now is not just between the United States and Iran.

"The concerns about Iran's nuclear program, the concerns about their support for terrorism, the concerns about the treatment of their own people, these are global concerns.... This Iranian regime would like to turn it into a US-Iran issue, but it's just not the case," McCormack said.

Washington has been accusing Tehran, among others, of developing secretly nuclear weapons, but it refuses to have negotiation with the Islamic Repbulic.

The Bush administration is facing pressure both in the United States and overseas to drop its long-standing refusal to talk directly with Iran about its nuclear program, particularly in the wake of the unusual 18-page letter sent this week to President Bush by Iran's president.

Meanwhile, visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in Jakarta that Iran was ready to have a dialogue with the United States and other Western countries to overcome the standoff on the dispute of its nuclear program, but he accused the countries of imposing double standard on the issue.

The Iranian President made the statement in an interview with the local Metro TV station.

He reaffirmed that the people of Iran try to make the use of the nuclear energy for peaceful use, has been accused of other intention.

"This all are just political charges. But we are ready to speak to every body to engage in dialogue with every body," said Ahmadinejad.

The president reaffirmed that Iran would use the technology to produce energy for power plants and also for other applications including medicine industry, agriculture and it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or military purposes.

"There is a tension come from the practice of double standards. There are few powers in the world respond to manipulate science and technology in the world, use it to dominate other nation in the world," he said.

Regarding to the possible sanction from western countries, the president said that it would not be effective as the country has low dependency on the Western countries and the people of Iran would support the government.

The United States is backing a draft Untied Nation resolution that could lead to sanctions and possible military action against Iran if the country does not suspend uranium enrichment.

Iran has said that it will not build a nuclear bomb, but US and European officials suspect Iran secretly develop the nuclear for that purpose.

The Iranian president who came here on Wednesday for an official visit to Indonesia, is to fly to the resort of island of Bali on Friday for a conference of Eight Developing countries.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2006)

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