U.S. accepts Iranian offer for talks

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and five other world powers have accepted an offer by Iran for international talks.

Russia, China, Great Britian, France and Germany joined the U.S. in accepting Iran’s proposal this week for "comprehensive, all-encompassing and constructive negotiations," even though Iranian leaders also said earlier this week that they would not negotiate on their nuclear program, according to media reports.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the group is "seeking a meeting now based on the Iranian paper to see what Iran is prepared to do" and hopes a meeting can occur "as soon as possible."

Crowley said the countries "plan to bring up the nuclear issue" in any meeting.

"There’s language in the letter that simply says the government of Iran is willing to enter into dialogue," the spokesman said. "We are going to test that proposition, OK? And if Iran is willing to enter into serious negotiations, then they will find a willing participant in the United States and the other countries. If Iran dissembles in the future, as it has in the past, then we will draw conclusions from that."

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