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Friday, August 19, 2005

Republican senator calls for talks with Iran

Yahoo:WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Party foreign policy expert Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record) is calling for the United States to open talks with Iran's new president and has dismissed President George W. Bush's talk of a military option against Tehran as an empty and foolish threat.
In an interview with Reuters during a trip across his home state on Wednesday, Hagel said the United States should greet the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a bold diplomatic stroke.
"You've got a new president, a new opportunity to do something bold here. Why not take that opportunity and do something bold? Iran is going to be a major influence in the future of Iraq. It already is. Who are we kidding when we think that they're not? They are.
"I would start engaging with American face-to-face dialogue. We're not at negotiations yet, but opening that dialogue. This is a process. This needs to work. Every side has to give something here," said Hagel, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is seen as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

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