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US closely watching Krishna visit to Iran

world Updated: May 15, 2010 10:41 IST
IANS
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The United States would be watching closely External Affairs Minister SM Krishna's visit to Iran over the weekend, but does not expect Tehran to change course on its nuclear programme.

"We believe that it is time to apply more pressure to Iran and that, we think, is the best way to get them to engage more seriously," State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley told reporters on Friday.

Asked if the US had reached out to India at any level on the issue as it did with the visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague "on the need to send a strong and united signal about Iran's nuclear programme," he said "Not to my knowledge.'

"I mean, Iran did come up in the context of the discussion that we had this week with (Afghan) President (Hamid) Karzai since, obviously, Afghanistan is a neighbour of Iran. I mean, we are touching in a wide range of discussions with a wide range of countries," Crowley said.

"And we'll be watching closely to meetings that occur in Tehran this weekend," he said when asked to comment on Krishna's visit to Tehran. "But as the Secretary (of State Hillary Clinton) said, we are sceptical that Iran is going to change course."

Clinton, he recalled, had also said... "we believe that it is time to apply more pressure to Iran and that, we think, is the best way to get them to engage more seriously."

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