Czech Republic pushes for direct, quick Iran-US talks


Berlin : The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating presidency of European Union (EU), has stressed direct and swift talks between Iran and the US to engage the two countries in rapproachment process, IRNA news agency reported Monday.

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“I hope very much there will be soon direct and intensive talks between Washington and Tehran,” Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt business newspaper.

“I always believed it was senseless to ignore your opponent,” Schwarzenberg said, referring to the West’s action against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

He said the use of “carrot and stick” approach against Iran was alright, but he was not in favour of any sanctions that would affect the general public of that country.

Schwarzenberg said dealing with the Iran issue should be an “important task” for new American President Barack Obama, who has repeatedly said he would be willing to hold unconditional negotiations with Tehran.

“International diplomacy is the oldest profession in the world”, the Czech diplomat said, urging the Obama administration to launch quick and intensive talks with the Islamic country in order to resolve the nuclear issue as well as the Middle East crisis.

The US and its West allies believe Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons under the cover of its peaceful nuclear programme, a charge Iran has denied and insisted that its nuclear programme is meant to generate electricity.

Meanwhile, Iran has also stated it was ready for launching a political dialogue with the US, provided Washington abandons finally its 30-year hostile stance towards the Islamic Republic.