Friday 22 September 2017

Iran's leader calls for policy rethink

Damien McElroy

Iran has delivered the strongest indication yet that it was prepared to make concessions on nuclear issues in an attempt to ease biting sanctions, with the supreme leader announcing yesterday that he was "not against" a diplomatic outreach to the West.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that a new policy of openness proposed by Hassan Rouhani, the new reformist president, could bring positive benefits for Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said he believed in "heroic flexibility" as he endorsed "rational foreign policy".

Mr Rouhani has approved talks between Mohamad Zarif, the US-educated foreign minister, and William Hague, his British counterpart, in New York. There is also growing speculation that a ground-breaking encounter with US diplomats is on the cards.

Positive statements from Iran about opening up to the West in recent days prompted a warning from Israel that any new talks should stick to the principle that Iran must abandon its attempts to enrich uranium and close suspect facilities.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM, said he would meet President Barack Obama at the same New York meeting and demand that the US does not take the threat of military intervention off the table. © Daily Telegraph, London)

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