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Obama: Iran should take U.S. engagement seriously

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Caren Bohan
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Presidential candidate Barack Obama said President George W. Bush’s decision to send a senior diplomat to nuclear talks with Iran was a substantive move and should be taken seriously by Tehran.

Obama, a Democrat, has been highly critical in the past of Bush’s policies toward Iran and has promised that if elected he would pursue a policy of greater engagement aimed at persuading Tehran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program.

But in a rare signal of solidarity with the current Republican administration, Obama told a news conference in Paris on Friday that Iran should not wait for the next U.S. president to try to reach a deal over its nuclear program.

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He also praised Bush’s decision to send senior U.S. diplomat William Burns to talks in Geneva with Iranian officials.

“Bill Burns is a very serious guy. And the Iranians should take that gesture seriously,” Obama told Reuters in an interview on Saturday as he flew back from a weeklong tour abroad.

Obama, who is running against Republican John McCain in the November election, is seeking to burnish his foreign policy credentials. He traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Iran was a key topic in many of the meetings he had with leaders of those countries.

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This article was posted: Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 8:22 am

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