News

DATE=12/29/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-224599

TITLE=U-S / IRAN (L)

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST

DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION MONDAY REAFFIRMED ITS INTEREST

IN A DIALOGUE WITH IRAN BUT SAYS ANY SUCH DISCUSSIONS SHOULD BE 

BETWEEN THE TWO GOVERNMENTS AND NOT CONDUCTED BY EMISSARIES.  

V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.



TEXT:  OFFICIALS HERE SAY CONGRESSMAN TOM LANTOS HAS APPROACHED 

THE ADMINISTRATION ABOUT A POSSIBLE VISIT TO IRAN.  BUT THEY SAY 

IF HE DOES MAKE THE TRIP, IT WOULD NOT BE AS A SPECIAL ENVOY FOR 

PRESIDENT CLINTON.



THE REPORTED PLANS BY THE CALFORNIA DEMOCRAT TOUCHED OFF RENEWED 

SPECULATION ABOUT A WARMING IN U-S IRANIAN RELATIONS --  

FOLLOWING THE OVERTURE TO THE UNITED STATES TWO WEEKS AGO BY 

IRANIAN PRESIDENT MOHAMMED KHATAMI.



THE IRANIAN PRESIDENT, A RELATIVE MODERATE WITHIN THE IRANIAN 

LEADERSHIP, CALLED FOR WHAT HE TERMED A "THOUGHTFUL DIALOGUE" 

WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE -- A PROPOSAL THAT WAS QUICKLY WELCOMED,

IN PRINCIPLE, BY THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION.



HOWEVER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES FOLEY SAID THE LANTOS 

TRIP IS NOT SOMETHING THE ADMINISTRATION ENCOURAGES, AND INSTEAD 

MADE CLEAR THE UNITED STATES WANTS OPEN, GOVERNMENT-TO-GOVERNMENT

CONTACTS:



                      ///FOLEY ACTUALITY///



         WE LOOK FOR AN AUTHORIZED DIALOGUE AND ONE THAT WOULD BE

         ACKNOWLEDGED PUBLICALLY WITH THE IRANIAN AUTHORITIES.  

         THAT'S A LONG-STANDING U-S POLICY.  WE HAVE NOT YET SEEN

         A DEFINITIVE INDICATION ON THE PART OF THE IRANIANS THAT

         THEY'RE PREPARED FOR SUCH A DIALOGUE.  THEY HAVE MADE 

         SOME INTERESTING, AND EVEN ENCOURAGING, COMMENTS.



                          ///END ACT///



MR. FOLEY SUGGESTED TO REPORTERS THAT PRESIDENT KHATAMI MIGHT 

HAVE SOMETHING MORE TO SAY ABOUT THE ISSUE IN A YEAR-END 

STATEMENT, BUT DID NOT ELABORATE.



A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL TOLD V-O-A IRAN WOULD NOT HAVE TO CHANGE 

ANY POLICY TO HAVE SUCH TALKS, BUT MUST BE PREPARED TO DISCUSS 

ISSUES OF U-S CONCERN -- INCLUDING TEHRAN'S SUPPORT FOR 

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, ITS STRIDENT OPPOSITION TO THE 

ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE PROCESS, AND EFFORTS TO ACQUIRE WEAPONS OF 

MASS DESTRUCTION.  "THE NEXT MOVE," THE OFFICIAL SAID, "IS 

THEIRS." (SIGNED)



NEB/DAG/GKT/RRM



29-Dec-97 3:05 PM EST (2005 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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