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Iran hints at nuclear talk progress, but world still wary of possible conflict

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CNN reports that Mottaki also suggested that Iran would be willing to open diplomatic contacts with the US. CNN notes that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has approved preliminary examination of opening an "interests office" in a third-party foreign embassy in Tehran. Such an office would open diplomatic channels with Iran in the absence of a US embassy.

"Contacts between Iranians and the American people will be a useful step for better understanding of the two nations," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. ...
Rice said recently that the United States has for some time been attempting to reach out to the Iranian people.
"We want more Iranians visiting the United States," she said. "We want the efforts that we've engaged in to have Iranian artists in the United States, American sports people in Iran. We're determined to find ways to reach out to the Iranian people."
Mottaki, in New York to attend a meeting of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, said Iran supports academic and sports exchanges between the two countries, IRNA reported.
"Iranian academics and students have invited their American counterparts to the country to share their research and scientific achievements," Mottaki said, according to IRNA.
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