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Senior US senator slammed Washington`s anti-Iran policies:

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Jan 23, IRNA -- Senior US Senator Joseph Biden criticized the 
American government`s policies on Iran during a meeting with Foreign 
Minister Kamal Kharrazi on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in 
Davos, Switzerland, Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. 
According to the ministry`s press bureau, the ranking Democrat on 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from Delaware, "stressed the 
importance of Iran and the role which it can play in the sensitive 
and volatile region" in the Middle East. 
"Joseph Biden told the Iranian foreign minister that he hoped 
the existing problems between the Islamic Republic of Iran and 
America would be removed someday," it added. 
Kharrazi had a 90-minute meeting with Biden in a rare high-level 
contact between Tehran and Washington, which have held no official 
relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in full view of reporters
in a lounge at the World Economic Forum. 
"Kharrazi, in turn, said `the Iranian nation has suffered gravely 
from the antagonistic steps of the American government and so long as 
these wrong policies continue, there will be no ground for dialogue 
and improving the two countries` relations`," the ministry said. 
"The Iranian foreign minister stressed that ... American 
statesmen are required first to change their existing approach and 
prove their good will in order to pave the way for dialogue and 
diplomatic relations according to mutual respect," it added. 
The Bush administration, which has tagged Iran part of an `axis of
evil`, offered humanitarian aid to the victims of the December 26 Bam 
quake and dispatched an 80-member relief team and supplies like tents 
and blankets after receiving Iran`s green light. 
Bush also ordered a unilateral American sanctions against Iran to 
be temporarily waived in order to send any form of aid, including cash
mostly by the large Iranian diaspora in the United States, to the 
victims. 
US` dramatic U-turn led to the speculation that Tehran and 
Washington might choose this time to bring their frozen ties out of 
fridge and start a dialogue. 
Iran, however, rejected an American proposal to send a delegation 
headed by top Senator Elizabeth Dole to Tehran to deliver American 
relief, saying "the time is not right yet for such a visit". 
The United States had offered to send a humanitarian mission led 
by Senator Elizabeth Dole, including a family member of President 
George W. Bush, to the quake-stricken city of Bam in southeast Iran. 
Washington cut ties with Tehran in 1980 in the wake of a hostage 
crisis after Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and 
arrested its staff. 
Since then, the United States has taken an antagonistic stance 
against Iran, assisting the deposed regime of Saddam Hussein during 
the imposed Iraqi war between 1980 and 1988. 
BH/212 
End 



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