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'I don't foresee any reason for broader talks with the Iranians.' Rice
Photo: AP
Rice: Iran central banker for Mideast terror
Ahead of Latin America, Asia trip Secretary of State Rice tells reporters that even if Iran suspends its nuclear enrichment activities U.S. would be unlikely to agree to bilateral talks; adds that she hopes Indonesia would urge Hamas to recognize Israel

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told American and foreign reporters that even if Iran suspends its nuclear enrichment activities, the United States would be unlikely to agree to bilateral talks.

 

"Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a kind of central banker for terrorism in important regions like Lebanon through Hizbullah in the Middle East, in the Palestinian Territories, and we have deep concerns about what Iran is doing in the south of Iraq," Rice said.

 

Should Iran agree to drop its nuclear ambitions, she said, "that isn't a quid pro quo for anything. It just needs to be done because it's a demand of the international system."

 

‘Voice for moderation’

 

"I don't foresee any reason for broader talks with the Iranians. We have our channels," the secretary of state said, emphasizing that U.S. efforts to isolate Iran do not extend to the Iranian people.

 

"We want to continue to reach out to the Iranian people in any way possible, which is why we have asked for more resources for broadcasting, more resources for educational and cultural exchanges," Rice added.

 

Ahead of her schedule trip to Indonesia next week, Rice said the country’s current government supports the Road Map for peace in the Middle East, saying "Indonesia has been a voice for moderation, and that is perhaps what's needed most."

 

She added that she hoped Indonesia would urge Hamas to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

 

When asked about the possible rise of extremist Islam in Indonesia, Rice predicted that as Indonesia's democracy becomes stronger and matures it will permit people "to channel their differences, their interests, into a political process rather than turning to violence."

 

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