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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 March 2006, 10:43 GMT
Press backs Iran-US talks bid
Iranian Press graphic

Tehran's offer to hold direct talks with the US on Iraq sparks considerable optimism in Iran's press.

Several papers hail the move as a breakthrough which could help dispel decades of mistrust.

But one describes Tehran's new stance as "baffling".

Iran News

If US-Iranian negotiations were to occur, it would be the two countries' first direct talks since Washington broke ties with Tehran in April 1980 in the wake of hostage-taking in the US Embassy in Tehran... Through these negotiations, the taboo of no dialogue would break and the two countries might find a chance to iron out differences. Iran should adopt the necessary strategies in a bid to strip the United States of any opportunity to damage Tehran's interests... the United States must have recognised Iran's status as a regional power before accepting these talks.

Aftab-e Yazd

Iran's great influence on some groups in Iraq has prompted America to approach Tehran in hope of bringing a dignified end to its Iraqi dossier. This might mean that needing Iran has forced America to abandon a layer of its arrogance and enter talks with Tehran on equal footing. If that is indeed the case, then the situation offers a great opportunity to Iranian officials to resolve some of their problems with Washington, especially those regarding the nuclear case. They must weave this issue into the talks.

Kayhan International

Let's face it: the US has been knocking so hard on Iran's door to get some assistance in solving the rampant violence in Iraq that it has nearly broken the door down. However, the Islamic Republic only opened the door to talks on Iraq after several Iraqi Shia statesmen rang Iran's bell!

Sharq

The possibility of talks between Iran and America is a major development... it is not important what the talks will be about... but what is important is to break the 30-year old taboo... Holding talks with America does not mean solving all our foreign policy problems. There is no doubt that America will try to get the most out of Iran and give back very little... War starts when diplomacy fails. Iran's diplomatic efforts have not been exhausted.

E'temad

Optimism should not prevent us from being realistic. It would seem that a dialogue - if it were to take place - must serve to dispel, first and foremost, mutual suspicions on both sides regarding their respective roles in Iraq. Iran and America must recognise each other's interests and work towards establishing peace and stability in Iraq.

Keyhan

The recent remarks by Mr Larijani regarding talks with the US are pushing Iran into a terrible situation - one that America and its allies have been waiting for. They have tried repeatedly to bring Iran to the negotiating table. But they have been unsuccessful so far. Therefore, it is both baffling and unfortunate that under the current circumstances Iran should respond positively to America's strategic demands... America's objective for bringing Iran to the negotiating table is to send a message to the Islamic movements in the world that after 24 years Iran had no other choice but to give up resistance and submit to America!

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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