MUNICH (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. is prepared to hold direct talks with Iran in the standoff over its nuclear ambitions – but only if the leadership in Tehran “is serious.”
Washington has indicated in the past that it’s prepared to hold talk directly with Iran, and talks involving all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany have made little headway.
Asked at an international security conference when direct talks might be possible, Biden replied Saturday: “when the Iranian leadership, the supreme leader, is serious.”
Biden says the offer stands “but it must be real and tangible and there has to be an agenda that they’re prepared to speak to. We’re not prepared to do it just for the exercise.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is telling an international security conference that there’s still time for diplomacy to succeed in resolving concerns over Iran’s nuclear program – but he’s insisting that it’s up to Tehran to show good faith.
Biden’s comments on Saturday came a few days after Iran, in a defiant move ahead of new talks expected later this month with leading world powers, announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment. That can be used to make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads.
Biden told the Munich Security Conference that “there is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed.” He didn’t specify any timeframe.
He insisted that “the ball is in the government of Iran’s court.”
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