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Middle east

Obama wants dialogue with Iran despite Ahmadinejad rant

Latest update : 2009-04-21

Though condemning the anti-Israeli comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN conference on racism in Geneva, US President Barack Obama has vowed to pursue "tough, direct diplomacy" with authorities in Tehran.

AFP - US President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to continue pursuing "tough, direct diplomacy" with Iran, despite the latest anti-Israel tirade by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Obama said after holding talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan that the Iranian president's fiery rhetoric at a United Nations racism conference was "appalling" and "not helpful."
"I think it actually hurts Iran's position in the world, but we are going to continue to take an approach that tough, direct diplomacy has to be pursued without taking a whole host of options off of the table."
Ahmadinejad's fiery remarks in Geneva Monday prompted 23 European Union delegations to walk out in protest.
The conference, which already had been boycotted by several governments led by the United States and Israel, fell into disarray after Ahmadinejad launched his newest attack on the Jewish state.
Ahmadinejad, who previously has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, slammed the Jewish state as a "cruel and racist regime" created after World War II as compensation for racism in Europe.
Meanwhile, speaking in Malta Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the Iranian leader's speech "regrettable and deplorable" but also lamented the decision by various countries to boycott the meeting.
"It was regrettable that some countries decided to remain outside the conference," the UN leader said.
"Whatever position one country may have, it is always better to come inside and express the positions," said Ban.

Date created : 2009-04-21