Vice President Joe Biden says that US remains open to talks with Iran over ending its nuclear weapon development program, but only if Iran is also ready to sit at the negotiation table.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference Saturday, Biden said that US is ready to talk with Iranian leaders, but noted that fruitful results of the negotiations will only be possible if the other party also shows some seriousness on the matter.
"We have made it clear at the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally with the Iranian leadership, we would not make it a secret that we were doing that, we would let our partners know if that occasion presented itself. That offer stands, but it must be real and tangible, and there has to be an agenda that they're prepared to speak to. We are not just prepared to do it for the exercise."
The fabled talks have been a bone of contention between both parties since President Barack Obama took office in 2008. Republicans accuse him of being too lenient in dealing with Iran and for jeopardizing national security because Iran has quite a number of times threatened all those who might come in the way of stopping it.
This week, Iran claimed to have launched a rocket into space carrying a monkey inside. While analysts believe Iranians are only trying to boast about the technology they don’t have, some have expressed serious concerns that the country’s so-called space program is actually a test bed for ballistic missile technology.
Biden noted that it’s still not too late for Iran to get the message. "There is still time, there is still space for diplomacy, backed by pressure, to succeed," he told the conference. "The ball is in the government of Iran's court, and it's well past time for Tehran to adopt a serious, good-faith approach to negotiations with the P5-plus-1."
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akber Saleh hopes that the newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry [Unlink] would be able to convince Obama to loosen up the sanctions on Iran and change the government’s anti-Iranian stance as well as its policies.
During his confirmation hearing Kerry said that while the current sanctions on the Islamic state are producing the results the administration wanted, there is still hope that some work could be done on the diplomatic front.