Can a change of relations between the U.S. and Iran really be possible?
The Iranian Foreign Minister responded to a statement by US Vice President Joe Biden that Washington is ready to hold direct talks with Tehran if the Iranian regime is serious about negotiations, saying that the offer was a sign of positive change between the two countries.
"As I have said yesterday, I am optimistic, I feel this new administration is really this time seeking to at least divert from its previous traditional approach vis-a-vis my country," FM Ali Akbar Salehi told the German Council on Foreign Relations.
Salehi said that since the US severed its relations with Iran following the hostage crisis over 30 years ago, it is still difficult for Tehran and Washington to form any kind of diplomatic relationship.
"How do we trust again this new gesture?" he asked.
Salehi said he hoped President Barack Obama would "walk away from wars ... and approaches that bring destruction, killings, bloodshed."
Relations between the two countries have been especially tense lately as the US continues to lead an international effort to force economic sanctions on Iran for its unwillingness to give up its goal of developing a nuclear weapon. "I think it is about time both sides really get into engagement because confrontation certainly is not the way," Salehi said, referring to the opinion that the only way to stop Tehran is through a US-led attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
"And another thing: this issue of the nuclear file is becoming boring," added Salehi.
Speaking on Saturday at a security conference in Munich, Biden praised the efforts of the international community to halt Iran's nuclear program, saying Iran faced "the most robust sanctions in history."
"But we have also made clear that Iran's leaders need not sentence their people to economic deprivation and international isolation," Biden said. "There is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed. The ball is in the government of Iran's court."