GOOD READS

JOE BIDEN TO IRAN: The Window Of Opportunity For Talks Is Closing Fast

US Vice President Joe Biden on Friday warned Iran that opportunities for diplomacy over its disputed nuclear programme were not unlimited but offered direct talks between Washington and Tehran.

In an interview with the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, Biden said the "burden of proof" that Iran was not seeking a nuclear weapon lay with the authorities in Tehran.

"President (Barack) Obama has made clear that containment is not an option. We will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," Biden was quoted as saying in remarks published in German.

"We think there is time and space for diplomacy -- accompanied with economic pressure. But this window will not be open for an unlimited time," he added.

He said Tehran could expect continued sanctions and increasing international pressure over its disputed nuclear drive, which Iran insists is entirely peaceful.

Iran and six world powers -- the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany -- held three rounds of talks last year aimed at easing the standoff over Iran's nuclear activities.

The six, known as the P5+1, called on Iran to scale back its programme but stopped short of meeting Tehran's demands to scale back sanctions. The last round ended in stalemate in June in Moscow.

Biden said: "We are continuing with the P5+1 group to work for a diplomatic solution and we have said from the beginning that we are prepared to hold a bilateral meeting."

"The goal of the sanctions is not punishment. Iran must be persuaded that it has to live up to its international commitments," added Biden.

Another round of talks was initially expected to be held in December or January but a date and a location have still not been set, amid indications that neither side is prepared to change substantially its position.

Parallel talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency are set to resume on February 13 in Tehran.

Speaking to reporters later, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he planned to meet his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi over the weekend and urged Tehran to consider Biden's offer of bilateral talks.

"This is a hand that he is extending to the Iranian government and we will urge the Iranian government to take them up on this offer," Westerwelle said after meeting EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"Direct talks between Washington and Tehran are in the interest of all of our security, also in our interests as Europeans so we will make our contribution to creating the necessary atmosphere," added the minister.

For her part, Ashton said she hoped talks would resume "very shortly."

Biden is in Germany for a European trip that will also take in France and Britain.

He will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel later Friday before travelling to the southern city of Munich for the 49th edition of the Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of defence officials and top brass.

He will deliver a speech on foreign policy there on Saturday and hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and Syrian opposition chief Moaz al-Khatib.

Westerwelle played down the likelihood of direct US-Iran talks in Munich saying it was "not the right venue for this kind of thing."

Biden will visit US troops in Germany on Sunday before heading to Paris on Monday for talks with French President Francois Hollande. The following day, he travels to London to meet Prime Minister David Cameron.

Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.



More From Business Insider

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Latest News

  • RIL raises $550 mn from Japanese banks

    Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Wednesday said it has raised $550 million as loan from Japanese banks for part-funding expansion of its petrochemical plant and new gasification unit. "In continuation of the fund raising programme initiated in 2012-13, RIL has tied up Export Credit Agency (ECA) facility of up to USD 550 million co-financed by JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) and a group of other Japanese banks," the company said in a …

  • Steady PMIs, sluggish China put brakes on European shares

    European shares edged down on Wednesday after three days of gains as data showing China's economy was still stuttering offset some broadly reassuring European purchasing manager index (PMI) numbers. Data compiler Markit's monthly PMI figures, seen as good indicators of future growth, showed that while France's economy was still a drag, Germany was continuing to power the euro zone's recovery. In Asia, China's stock markets had fallen again and the yuan tumbled to 16-month low after a survey …

  • BSE Sensex hits third consecutive record high
    BSE Sensex hits third consecutive record high

    Reuters Market Eye - The BSE Sensex and the Nifty hit record highs for the third consecutive session on Wednesday on the back of gains in blue-chip stocks. The benchmark index hits a record high of 22,901.65. ... …

  • Gold hovers near 2-1/2 month lows
    Gold hovers near 2-1/2 month lows

    Gold was steady but near its lowest in more than two months on Wednesday, with stronger equities denting the metal's safe-haven appeal and outflows from bullion funds showing weak investor appetite. Spot gold was trading flat at $1,283.50 an ounce by 0640 GMT. But if we break that level, we are going to fall to $1,250," said Yuichi Ikemizu, branch manager for Standard Bank in Tokyo. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund and a good measure of investor …

  • Rupee slips below 61 against the dollar

    Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) The Indian rupee fell below 61 against a dollar for the first time in more than a month Wednesday on continued demands for the greenback from oil importers and weakness in other ... …

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS & INTERVIEWS

  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …

  • Bracing for Challenges

    Raghuram Rajan is preparing to deal with concerns that may arise when a new government takes charge. …

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.61-0.24-1.42%
    UNITECH.BO
    14.27-0.31-2.13%
    SUZLON.BO
    120.20+6.80+6.00%
    FRL.BO
    68.00+6.05+9.77%
    MANGCHEM.BO
    53.80+1.05+1.99%
    HCLINFO.BO
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    16.20+2.70+20.00%
    JAGSONPH.BO
    53.50+8.90+19.96%
    RUSHIL.BO
    63.95+8.90+16.17%
    MRPL.BO
    23.55+3.20+15.72%
    KILITCHD.BO
    23.80+2.90+13.88%
    NELCAST.BO
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    -10.95-100.00%
    4THGEN.BO
    -17.30-100.00%
    ALFAICA.BO
    -16.81-100.00%
    AMAL.BO
    -11.73-100.00%
    BORAX.BO
    -29.95-100.00%
    BRADYM.BO
  •  
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

    •  
      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.