In a significant departure from Bush-era policies, the United States says that it will act as a “full participant” in the proposed talks between the P5+1 and the Iranian government on their nuclear program. The Iranian government has yet to formally respond to the request for talks (indeed, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana has yet to formally offer them), but President Ahmadinejad of Iran had earlier today said he would welcome “honest” dialogue with the Obama Administration.
The talks would be directed at international (particularly US) concern over Iran’s civilian nuclear program. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “there is nothing more important than trying to convince Iran to cease its efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon.” America’s most recent National Intelligence Estimate says Iran has no active nuclear weapons program, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly certified that Iran has not diverted any of its uranium to any non-civilian use.
In a separate revelation on the potential US-Iran rapprochement, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey confirmed reports that there were ongoing high-level, secret talks involving the US and Iran in Geneva, but added that “the talks are on a purely informal level and the foreign ministry is not involved.”