A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Oh, how nice!

AP: Iran Tries Charm to Counter Israel Remarks---

TEHRAN, Iran - Facing continued criticism for its president's call for Israel's destruction, Iran launched a charm offensive Sunday by proposing resumed nuclear talks with Europe, saying it allowed U.N. inspectors to visit a sensitive military facility and pledging to boost relations with former enemy Iraq.

Still, Tehran's diplomatic spat with Italy over the anti-Israel remarks worsened, with Rome warning Iran it risked isolating itself from the international community by denying the "right to exist to another state and other people."

Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent call for Israel to be "wiped off the map" has increased international pressure against Iran. It also overshadows a crucial Nov. 24 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors, which threatens to refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

On Sunday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, tried some damage control, calling for resumed negotiations on the program with Britain, Germany and France, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Talks collapsed in August after Tehran rejected an incentives package in return for permanently ending uranium enrichment, which it voluntarily suspended in 2004 under a deal with the Europeans.