Rice: Quit nuke program, then we'll talk

Secretary of state says if Teheran meets UNSC demands, she will meet her counterpart "any place, any time."

rice teeth 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
rice teeth 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday she was ready to meet her Iranian counterpart if Teheran abandoned its nuclear ambitions and complied with UN Security Council resolutions. "On Iran, I continue to say that if Iran will just do the one thing that is required of it by the Security Council resolutions that have been passed - and that is suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities - then I'm prepared to meet my counterpart any place and any time and anywhere and we can talk about anything," she said at a State Department news conference. Iran has thus far refused to comply with the international demands and Rice said that "as long as the Iranians are talking and practicing enrichment, we're not getting anywhere." Rice pointed to the fact that she will be meeting in Washington next month with Libya's foreign minister as proof of the benefits that come to countries that change their behavior. Libya renounced weapons of mass destruction and in return won the lifting of US and UN sanctions. "I'm looking for an opportunity to extend our relationship further," she said, adding that she hopes to visit Libya despite concerns from some US lawmakers that Tripoli has still not fulfilled obligations to compensate victims of terrorist attacks. "I actually look forward to the opportunity to go to Libya. I think it will be an important step." On another matter Rice, just returned from a trip to Iraq, said progress has been made in reducing violence since a surge in US forces earlier this year, adding 30,000 troops to bring the total to more than 160,000. "Iraq today is a different country than it was a year ago," she said. But she also called the security gains fragile and said long-term success hinges on the Iraqis settling their political differences.