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US policy like American football: Iranian minister

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki compared US policy to an attacking American football team.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 17:48 IST

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki compared US policy to an attacking American football team on Tuesday, saying that Iran preferred the "tranquil reflection" characteristic of chess.

"The Americans love American football, in which the main principle is attack. During the game they beat each other or the referee. But we prefer chess. We love to play and take decisions through tranquil reflection," Mottaki told journalists while visiting the former Soviet republic of Armenia, which borders Iran.

"It would be better if American presidents dealt with solving the problems they create for their own people," Mottaki said.

The Iranian minister also confirmed plans for Iran to resume discussions of the country's nuclear programme with Russia.

Talks had been scheduled for Thursday but were postponed at the request of Iran, which now wants the meeting to take place Monday.

"The bases for talks are being worked out again. Several elements of Russia's proposals could warrant serious attention, including on the place of enrichment of uranium and the period of time involved," he said.

"We favour the continuation of talks on the question of using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," Mottaki said.

"Two principles should be followed: firstly, Iran has the international right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, secondly Iran is obliged not to deviate from this path," Mottaki said.

Western powers suggest that Iran might be trying to build an atomic bomb under the cover of a peaceful energy programme but Iran insists it only aims to generate electricity.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 17:48 IST