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Iranians discuss Iran-U.S. ties

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

TEHRAN, Iran -- For the first time in two decades, Iran's hard-liners and reformers on Tuesday debated the prospect of resuming relations with the United States, a lawmaker said.

Senior politicians and lawmakers attended a closed meeting at the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee to listen to "expert views" on the complexities of Tehran-Washington ties, the lawmaker said.

"The meeting was the beginning of discussions on clarifying the dimensions of ... Iran-U.S. relations and prospects of how to get out of the present circumstances," Elaheh Koolaee said. "The meeting sought to accurately identify the issues in order to deal with them."

Koolaee, a committee member and a Tehran University professor, refused to go into details, but said Tuesday's meeting had nothing to do with reports of secret talks between Iranian and U.S. officials that both countries have denied.

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