Iranian Parliament Open to US Talks

by Jason Ditz, December 01, 2008

In statements to reporters today, the Speaker of Iran’s Parliament Ali Larijani said official requests from the United States for talks with Iranian parliamentarians are presently being considered, and that it is the general feeling of parliament that “the time has come to hold talks between the two countries.”

According to reports in Iran’s state media, US congresswomen recently requested a meeting with female parliamentarians, and Iranian MPs also received a letter from US officials during October’s IMF meeting asking for a meeting.

The Iranian government has recently expressed an openness to significantly improve relations with the United States for the first since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, likely as a result to President-elect Barack Obama campaigning on a platform of opening talks with Iran. Since his election victory however, Obama has taken a far less conciliatory tone toward Iran. Iran may feel it is ready for improved relations with the US, but how ready is the new administration to make such a dramatic foreign policy change?

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