US, Iranian Representatives Meet in Washington

A00268867.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian parliament said that a group of the country’s lawmakers had attended talks with their US counterparts on the sidelines of a recent meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.

During the meeting, Iranian representatives said that they agree to negotiate with any country, except Israel, said Mohammad Kazem Delkhosh, an MP from the city of Sumee Sara in the northern province of Gilan.

“We can launch negotiations with the US representatives, should favorable conditions occur and the country stop interfering with Iran’s domestic affairs.”

It is the first time for the recent 30 years that parliamentarians of the two countries held a meeting at this level.

The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in the heart of Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.

Delkhosh said the US parliamentarians wrote a letter to the former chairman of Iran’s Parliament Gholam Ali Haddad Adel requesting to meet with Iranian parliamentarians. He did not specify whether negotiations with US representatives would be continued.

Asre Iran website confirmed on 19 October that the negotiations are underway and said three representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly participated in the meeting, but did not divulge their names.

“The official request of the US representatives to negotiate with Iran will be submitted to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in near future,” according to Asre Iran.

“US parliamentarians want to meet with members of the Iranian Parliament,” Ali Larijani recently said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has on different occasions offered to attend a televised debate with US President George Bush and US presidential candidates. However, US administration rejected the calls.

It is not yet known how Iran would respond to the request of the US lawmakers for a formal meeting.

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