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Friday, February 6, 2009

Larijani picks up 'positive' US signal

Fri, 06 Feb 2009 18:41:02 GMT | PressTV

Majlis speaker Ali Larijani
says rebuilding the bridges burnt by the Bush administration requires a pragmatic strategy based
on fair play.
The Iranian parliament Speaker says the US president's decision to dispatch an envoy to the Middle East was "a positive signal".

"The US president said he would send someone to the Middle East to listen to people and not to dictate," Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said Friday at the annual Munich Security Conference.

"This approach is a positive signal," he added.

Former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was appointed as the Middle East envoy by US President Barack Obama in his first days in office.

Mitchell's first official visit to the region came shortly after Tel Aviv wrapped up a 23-day military offensive against the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

The then President-elect refused to take an official stance on the conflict. President Obama, however, has vowed a strong push to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

In regards to Iran, the Obama White House seeks to engage Iranian leaders in "aggressive diplomacy" to resolve the controversy surrounding the country's nuclear program.

The young administration, however, is yet to appoint a special envoy to deal with the issue.

Larijani said President Obama could attempt to rebuild some of the bridges burnt by the Bush administration. The Iranian Speaker, however, said it would require a "pragmatic strategy based on fair play."

"The old carrot and stick cliché must be abandoned," he said.

Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic ties for almost three decades. The two states ended all relations in the aftermath of the 1980 US embassy takeover in Tehran.

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