WASHINGTON - The White House offered a cautious response on Thursday to an Iranian letter to world powers on resuming talks about its nuclear program, but made clear it was open to renewed diplomacy if Tehran was committed to reducing tensions with the West.
"It could lead to further diplomacy, provided that they're serious about it," said a senior administration official. "We have made clear that this has to be a dialogue about their nuclear program specifically."
Iran, hammered by international sanctions, delivered the letter on Wednesday to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who handles contacts with Tehran on behalf of the six major powers. The correspondence was a response to a letter sent to Tehran by Ashton in October.
"We're reviewing the letter," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. "The Iranians needed to respond to that (October) letter and so they have, but I don't want to make any qualitative judgments about their response at this time," he told reporters traveling with President Barrack Obama.