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Iran ready for fair talks with US
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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that Iran was ready for "fair talks" with the United States.

Ahmadinejad made the remarks in a rally in Tehran's Azadi (liberty) Squarea to mark the 30th anniversary of the victory of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

"The Iranian nation is ready to hold talks but talks in a fair atmosphere with mutual respect," Ahmadinejad told the rally.

"The new U.S. administration has announced that they want to produce changes. Iranian nation welcomes real changes, and it is quite clear that real changes must be fundamental and not tactical, " he said.

Referring to the slogan of "change" by U.S. new President Barack Obama, Ahmadinejad said "the new U.S. administration has said that they want to do changes and to follow the course of dialogue ... but the change must be essential not a tactic."

"The Iranian nation welcomes true changes and Iran is ready to talk in fair atmosphere with mutual respect," stressed the Iranian president.

"The United States must give up threats and sanctions," he said, adding Iran has now become "a real and true superpower."

"Here, I officially announce, Iran today is real and true superpower, but the Iranian nation is fond of justice and the friend of the other nations," and is not the threat for them, he added.

On Sunday, Iran urged the United States to change the strategy before talks between the two countries are initiated.

Iran's parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani who had participated at the three-day Munich Security Conference, which opened on Friday afternoon, told Iran's IRNA news agency that the U.S. needs a change of strategy to facilitate the direct talks with Iran.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that his administration is "looking for openings" to start face-to-face talks with Iran.

There is a possibility of mutual respect between the United States and Iran, Obama told a press conference, the first of its kind since his inauguration on Jan. 20.

"My expectation is, in the coming months, we will be looking for openings that can be created where we can start sitting across the table, face-to-face diplomatic overtures, that will allow us to move our policy in a new direction.

Noting that there's been a lot of mistrust between Washington and Tehran over the decades, Obama said that "there are going to be a set of objectives that we have in these conversations, but I think that there's the possibility at least of a relationship of mutual respect and progress."

Washington has been trying to beef up the UN-passed as well as its own sanctions against Tehran for being involved in anti-U.S. coalition forces activities, and for allegedly developing nuclear weapons secretly.

Iran has denied the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2009)

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