Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says the US offer to hold bilateral talks with Iran immediately after the passing of a sanctions bid against the Islamic Republic is merely a “political gesture.”
“If US officials have a wise proposal and approach, they can discuss them in the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany) meeting,” Larijani said on Wednesday.
The Islamic Republic does not seek adventurism in the region and has always paid heed to regional security, he added.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday expressed Washington’s readiness to hold bilateral talks with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
"We are working on the P5+1 and making our willingness known that we are ready to have a bilateral discussion if they are... ready to engage," Clinton said.
Her comments came only a day after the US Senate approved a new round of sanctions against Iran’s energy, port, shipping and shipbuilding sectors as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The sanctions bid has to be approved by the US House of Representatives and President Barack Obama.
Larijani further described as an “American strategy” the US contradictory attitude towards Iran, saying Washington speaks about talks simultaneous with the imposition of sanctions and this approach is based on pressure and dialogue.
He emphasized that despite the US efforts, Iran now plays a more leading role in regional developments.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran vehemently dismisses the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.