Iran welcomes Clinton comments on nuclear talks

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran says it welcomes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s comments that there is no hard-and-fast deadline for starting nuclear dialogue.

Clinton says the Obama administration remains open to negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, though will move toward tougher sanctions if Iran does not respond positively. She stressed there was no hard-and-fast deadline for Iran.

Responding Tuesday, Iran’s foreign ministry welcomed the comments

“We share the same idea with her. Deadlines are meaningless,” spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says.

The U.S. and other western allies accuse Iran of working to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge and says its program is for peaceful purposes.