Iran leader rejects offer of direct talks with US

Iran news headlines on Thursday include Iranian leader rejection of direct talks with US and ordering officials to stop feuding; Iran canceling visa requirements for Egyptian merchants and tourists; resumption of Iran and Senegal tiesAhmadinejad urging negotiations, elections in Syria and Iran planning to produce UAVs in other countries.

Iran’s supreme leader rejects direct talks with US

Iran’s supreme leader has rejected proposals for direct talks with United States, apparently quashing suggestions for a breakthrough dialogue on the nuclear standoff and other issues.

Thursday’s statement posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s website marks his first reaction to the proposals for the one-on-one talks, which received cautious support last week from Iran’s foreign minister.

Iranian leader urges officials to end spats, support Iran’s interests

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged an end to political infighting after a rivalry between the president and the parliamentary speaker became public, saying the nation’s interests must be given priority.

“Officials must preserve the country’s interests and put aside these shows of bad character,” Ayatollah Khamenei was quoted as saying during a meeting with air force commanders, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Iran to let in Egyptians without visas

Iran will cancel visa requirements for Egyptian merchants and tourists, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Egypt’s state news agency on Wednesday.

He also said relations between the two countries, who broke ties in 1979, were improving “every day”.

Iran and Senegal to resume ties after 2-year break -MENA

Iran and Senegal will resume diplomatic ties and reopen embassies in one another’s capitals, Egyptian state media reported on Thursday, ending two years of estrangement over Tehran’s alleged links to Senegalese rebels.

Dakar broke off relations with Iran in February, 2011, accusing Tehran of supporting separatist rebels in its southern Casamance region.

Ahmadinejad urges negotiations, elections in Syria

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wants his allies in the Syrian regime to negotiate with the opposition for the staging of a free election, in an interview with Egyptian state television.

The two sides should “sit at the negotiations table to find a solution to the crisis, through mutual understanding,” Ahmadinejad, who is on a visit to Egypt, said in the interview broadcast late Wednesday.

Iran plans to produce UAVs abroad: commander

Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Eslami said that the Islamic republic has plans to produce unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in other countries, semi- official Fars news agency reported on Thursday.

“Today, Iranian drones have many clients,” Eslami said, adding that “We are in for a big market” for Iranian drones.


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