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Iranian lawmaker urges for clarifying identity of Americans willing to talk with Tehran

By Xinhua,

Tehran : A senior Iranian lawmaker urged here Saturday for clarifying the identity of Americans willing to talk with Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Hossein Sobhaninia, deputy head of Majlis (parliament)’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission made the call after some non-governmental American groups have recently shown willingness for talks with Iran.

Sobhaninia was quoted as saying that before any talks, the intention of groups calling for dialogue and also the information they seek to gain as well as their political affiliation should be clarified.

The lawmaker, however, held that “the move (of the American groups) is not negative in nature,” adding that “talks with non-governmental groups can be positive if they were aimed at clarifying ambiguities.”

“The groups can help bring stances of the two countries’ political decision-makers closer to each other and help inform the sides of their problems,” said the lawmaker.

Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that the country’s lawmakers will consider the U.S. Congress’ call for talks.

“We have received a polite letter from the U.S. Congress on parliamentary negotiations between the two countries,” he said, adding that “we are studying the letter. We have not rejected it, but we have not given a positive response either.”

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Iran on April 7, 1980 after a group of Iranian students seize the U.S. embassy in Tehran and capture some 60 American diplomats in 1979, with 52 of them being in captivity for 444 days in the hostage crisis.

The United States and its allies have also been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program.

Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.