May 31, 2006

President of NIAC Calls Secretary Rice’s Announcement on Iran a “Positive Step Fraught with Risk”

For immediate release

Battle Over Pre-Conditions Could Scuttle Talks Before They Begin

Trevor FitzGibbon
Fenton Communications

Statement by Dr. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council

“Secretary Rice’s announcement of the shift in U.S. policy toward Iran is a step in the right direction, but we’re concerned that the precondition she set – as agreeable as it may be – may become an insurmountable obstacle to long-overdue negotiations.

It is very helpful that the Administration has recognized that only the US has the weight to make diplomacy succeed. However, preconditions beget preconditions, and engaging in an extended battle over preconditions will undermine American efforts to end nuclear proliferation.

Like all Americans, the Iranian-American community wishes to see a peaceful resolution to this conflict without any bloodshed. Through negotiations, an opportunity will emerge to avert military conflict.

This is a positive step, but it is fraught with risk. We hope that all sides take additional constructive step to make negotiations a reality wit hout any delay.”

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