US says its talks with Iran based on 'mutual respect'

September 20, 2013 19:32

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE - The United States is ready to engage in talks "on the basis of mutual respect" with Iran about its disputed nuclear program as long as Iran is willing to demonstrate that its program is for civilian purposes, a White House spokesman said on Friday.

"We have had a number of engagements with the Iranians and we'll continue to have conversations on the basis of mutual respect," Josh Earnest, the deputy White House spokesman, told reporters on Air Force One.

"And over the course of those conversations there will be an opportunity for the Iranians to demonstrate through actions the seriousness with which they are pursuing this endeavor," Earnest said.

US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will both be in New York next week for a meeting of the UN General Assembly and the White House has said that an encounter between the two men is possible.

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