|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search | Mirror in USA|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|State Organs of the PRC|
|CPC and State Leaders|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Tuesday, November 07, 2000, updated at 09:39(GMT+8)|
Clinton Sends Letter to Khatami to Seek DialogPresident Bill Clinton of the United States has sent a secret letter to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, expressing wishes for talks between the two longtime foes, local Tehran Times daily reported Monday.
The letter was submitted to the President's Office on October 20 by the Swiss embassy in Tehran which represents U.S. interests in Iran, the English-language daily quoted an unnamed source as saying.
"In the letter, the U.S. administration was looking for a suitable opportunity to hold talks with the Iranian government," the informed source was quoted as saying.
But no information is yet available about Tehran's response to this letter, the report added.
According to the source, the letter also referred to a recent bill passed by U.S. Congress to use frozen Iranian assets as a leverage for Tehran's payment of 213 million U.S. dollars in compensation to American citizens who claim to be victims of what they called "Iran-sponsored terrorism."
Billions of dollars of Iranian assets were frozen in U.S. banks after the 1979 Islamic revolution, which toppled the U.S.-backed late shah's regime.
The revolution also led to the seizure of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran by radical Islamic students, which resulted in the breakoff of Washington-Tehran relations.
In its letter, the U.S. administration claimed that it was against the anti-Iran bill passed by Congress, the source said.
But at the same time, "the U.S. administration believes that the bill is not against the American law and the administration's commitment to the American nation," the letter said.
The U.S. Congress bill irritated the Iranian parliament, which on October 31 passed a retaliatory bill authorizing law suits by Iranian citizens against "U.S. interference." The bill was immediately approved by the conservative Guardians Council, thus becoming law.
According to the law, Iranians who have been victims of the U.S.-manipulated 1953 coup can file legal claims with Iranian courts and receive compensation.
The 1953 coup overthrew the government of then Prime Minister Mohammad Mussadeq and permitted the return of the Shah to power. Washington has admitted that it played a role in that coup.
The ice between Tehran and Washington has thawed a bit since Khatami, a reformist, took office in 1997.
In March, Washington lifted a ban on three major Iranian non-oil exports -- pistachio, carpets and caviar -- as a goodwill gesture to Iranian reformers who won an overwhelming victory in the sixth parliament election in February.
But the Clinton administration still keeps the major part of economic sanctions in place and sticks to its accusations that Iran supports international terrorism, attempts to make mass-destruction weapons and opposes the Middle East peace process.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||