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Iran offers closer ties with the US

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Iran offers closer ties with the US

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Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made a surprise gesture towards the US and called on Barack Obama to improve ties with his country.

In what is being seen as a possible shift of attitude, the Iranian leader, who wasn’t invited to the Washington summit, has appeared on Iranian television saying he was drafting a letter to President Obama.

Ahmadinejad said that Iran was ready to talk to and cooperate with the US as long as its rights, independence and honour were respected. Acknowledging Iran would benefit both sides. Iran, said, the president, “was not seeking a confrontation.”

Although Tehran dismissed Obama’s nuclear conference as a “political show”, the apparent international support for further sanctions against it may have initiated a leadership re-think. Iran has always declared its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.