White House still open to talks with Iran

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Jerusalem, June 29 (ANI): Despite claiming that Iranian President Mohammad Ahmadinejad is not in-charge of his country's foreign policy, Washington has said it is still interested in having a dialogue with the Iranian leadership.

US President Barack Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod, said the US remains open to meeting with Iran in Paris in an effort to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

"We are looking to sit down and talk to the Iranians and offer them two paths. And one brings them back into the community of nations, and the other has some very stark consequences," the Jerusalem Post quoted Axelrod, as saying.

He, however, was careful to signal that the White House doesn't think Ahmadinejad has the final say over Iran's interaction with the West.

"We are also mindful of the fact that the nuclear weapons in Iran and the nuclearization of that whole region is a threat to that country, all countries in the region, and the world. And we have to address that. We can't let that lie," Axelrod said.

Earlier, Ahmadinejad had accused the West of stoking unrest, singling out Britain and the United States for alleged meddling.

Axelrod said Ahmadinejad's accusations are meant for domestic consumption and to quell unrest after his re-election that his opponents call a fraud.

"Let's be clear that we didn't meddle in the election in Iran. The dispute in Iran is between the leadership in Iran and their own people, and plainly, Mr. Ahmadinejad thinks that by fingering the United States, that he can create a political diversion. So, I'm not going to entertain his bloviations that are politically motivated," Axelrod said.

Axelrod said Tehran faces a choice between engaging the West or facing further isolation in the wake of a presidential election that sent thousands of protesters to the streets amid questions of its validity.

Last week, Iran expelled two British diplomats, and Britain responded in kind. Iran has also said it's considering downgrading diplomatic ties with Britain; the US does not have diplomatic relations with the country. (ANI)

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