VP: U.S. ready to talk with Iran
The United States is willing to talk to Iran and offer it a choice between "pressure and isolation" or "meaningful incentives," US Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday. "We will be willing to talk to Iran, and to offer a very clear choice: continue down the current course and there will be continued pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear programme and your support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives," Biden said, according to AFP.
The new US administration of President Barack Obama is "reviewing" Iran policy, Biden told an audience of foreign leaders and other officials in a major foreign policy address at the annual Munich Security Conference. "The Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilisation is a great civilisation," Biden said.
"But Iran has acted in ways that are not conducive to peace in the region or to the prosperity of its own people; its illicit nuclear programme is but one of those manifestations."
US-Iran relations have been frozen for three decades.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for tougher sanctions against Iran if Obama's new diplomatic efforts fail to convince Tehran to change its ways. "We need to be ready for tougher sanctions," she said, with Biden listening in the audience. "It is a must to stop Iran having nuclear weapons."