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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran ready to cooperate with U.S. on global issues - Ahmadinejad

RIA Novosti

06/02/2009 19:18 TEHRAN, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is ready to cooperate with the new U.S. administration in tackling global issues on the basis of "mutual respect," the Iranian president said on Friday.

"Iran announces its readiness to welcome genuine and correct changes in polices conducted by the new U.S. administration, and to cooperate with Washington on the resolution of urgent global problems in an atmosphere of mutual respect and fairness," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a meeting with the newly appointed Swiss ambassador to Iran.

The Swiss Embassy in Tehran represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic. The United States and Iran have had no direct diplomatic relations since April 1980. Ties were cut some five months after radical Iranian students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad said he was certain that officials in President Barack Obama's government would learn the lessons from the "erroneous" policy of the George W. Bush administration.

The United States has accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, a claim denied by Tehran, which maintains its nuclear program is exclusively for the country's civilian energy needs.

Washington has labeled Iran a "rogue state" in the past and has consistently refused to rule out the possibility of military action against Tehran.

But the new U.S. president has recently said that his administration would adopt a new policy toward Tehran. Obama also said that Washington needs to start cooperating with the Iranian government.

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