Delegates to the Munich Security Conference Discuss Iranian Issue

The new Administration in Washington is willing to enter into dialog with Israel. This was the message U.S. Vice President Joe Biden brought to the Munich Security Conference. "We are willing to talk to Iran, and to offer a very clear choice:  continue down your current course and there will be pressure and isolation; abandon your illicit nuclear program and support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives," Biden said, stressing that if Tehran does not forego its nuclear program, it will be subjected to pressure and isolation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed hope that Iranian issue may be tackled using diplomatic methods. At the same time she said that Germany is ready to tighten sanctions on Iran, if no progress is achieved in nuclear talks.

In his opening intervention at the Conference, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs appealed to the political leadership in Tehran to seize the opportunity offered by the new U.S. Administration and to enter into direct dialogue on the future of Iranian nuclear policy. Let me make it quite clear again what this is not about: it is not about denying a country the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Rather, this is about preventing a military programme being developed under the guise of peaceful use," Steinmeier said.

Addressing the 45th Munich Security Conference in Munich on Friday, Ali Larijani, the Speaker at Iranian parliament, lambasted western policies in the Middle East, pointing to past failed strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Today we need a reasonable, fair and realistic approach to establish durable security," the Iranian official added. However, Larijani called the U.S. initiative to engage in direct talks with Iran "a good sign" and "a golden opportunity" for Washington. Still, it is not enough to forget all the pain caused to Iranian people by Washington's ill-advised strategy in the region. Larijani urged the US to adopt a "new strategy based on mutual respect and fair behaviour" and accept its past mistakes.