Direct Talks With Iran? Biden Says It's Possible | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Direct Talks With Iran? Biden Says It's Possible

Vice President Joe Biden says the United States is ready to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program — provided that the country's top leader is serious about such discussions.

Biden, attending a security conference in Munich, Germany, spelled out conditions for the talks, reports Reuters: "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 are prepared to speak to. We are not just prepared to do it for the exercise."

Iranian diplomats have been talking for months with an international group of countries from the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, but The Washington Post says the talks haven't progressed. Biden says that can change: "The ball is in the government of Iran's court."

Biden is on a brief three-nation tour; after stopping in Germany on Saturday, he moves to France for talks with French president Francois Hollande who's visiting Mali on Saturday. Then he'll travel to Britain to see Prime Minister David Cameron, says the BBC.

On the sidelines of the Munich conference, the vice president met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Biden's office says he believes the U.S. and Russia must both lead to find practical solutions to world problems. But The New York Times says he also criticized Russia for continuing to support the Syrian government and demanded that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad step down from power. Lavrov reiterated Russia's position on Syria, including no foreign troops, a cease-fire and talks among all Syrian parties, including Assad.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Little House,' Big Demand: Never Underestimate Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wilder's memoir reveals that she witnessed more violence than you'd ever know from her children's books. The South Dakota State Historical Society can barely keep up with demand for the autobiography.
NPR

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

The market for single-serving coffee pods is dominated by Keurig's K-Cups. But they aren't recyclable, and critics say that's making a monster of an environmental mess. Meet the K-Cup Godzilla.
NPR

Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

When Blue Shield Of California stopped selling individual health policies in many zip codes in 2014, even insurance agents were surprised. Blue Shield says it dropped out to keep premiums low.
NPR

Charles Townes, Laser Inventor, Black Hole Discoverer, Dies At 99

Physicist Charles Townes died Tuesday. He was a key inventor of the laser and won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1964. But his career didn't end there.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.