US open to direct talks with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program: Biden

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 03, 2013 11:21 hrs

Vice President Joseph Biden has said that the White House is open to direct talks with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.

He added that the U.S., however, would refuse to engage Tehran until its government and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demonstrated they were 'serious' about moving forward.

According to ABC News, speaking at a security conference in Munich, Germany, Biden said the administration had been clear it 'would be prepared' to meet for one-on-one negotiations between the states, outside the multilateral meetings that have not convened for major talks since June.

This week, Iran claimed to have launched a rocket carrying a monkey into space.

While analysts have cast serious doubt over the veracity of the claim, it dovetailed with continued international concern the country's "space program" was being used as a testing bed for ballistic missile technology, the report said.

Biden said it wasn't too late to work within the confines of the multilateral discussions with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, the report added.

In December, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi told state-run media that his government was also open to bilateral discussions, but that approval would ultimately come from the ayatollah, the report added. (ANI)

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