First Published: 2005-06-01

Rafsanjani favours sorting out problem with US

Iran’s presidential election frontrunner declares need to put end to quarter of century of estrangement with US.


Middle East Online

It is Washington that needs to take the first step: Rafsanjani

TEHRAN - Iranian presidential election frontrunner Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Wednesday he was in favour putting an end to a quarter of a century of estrangement with the United States.

The top cleric and former president said however that it was Washington that needed to take the first step by sending a signal of goodwill.

"If they make a positive sign, I am one of those who believes that we need to sort out this problem," Rafsanjani said.

"I am convinced that it is the Americans who need to show their goodwill so that relations can resume," he was quoted as telling a gathering of university professors.

"They need to deal with us as equals and renounce their animosity."

Iran and the United States cut off diplomatic relations in 1980, after Islamic revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran and held 52 US personal hostage for 444 days.

But Rafsanjani, seen as a savvy deal-maker who favours closer ties with the West, has been playing up the issue in the run-up to the June 17 presidential poll - amid what appears to be a widespread desire within the Iranian public for the US problem to be resolved.


Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison