Biden: U.S. Open To Direct Talks With Iran

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 2 2013 1:38 PM

Biden: U.S. Is Willing To Hold Direct Talks With Iran

Vice President Joe Biden delivers a speech during day two of the 49th Munich Security Conference

Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images

The United States is ready and willing to hold direct negotiations with Iran, Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday, emphasizing that such talks will only take place if Tehran is “serious” because “we are not just prepared to do it for the exercise,” reports the Washington Post. In a security conference in Munich, Biden said that Iran is facing "the most robust sanctions in history" but Washington has made it clear that “there is still time, there is still space for diplomacy backed by pressure to succeed.” He added: “The ball is in the government of Iran's court.”

Talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany have made little progress, but analysts have long predicted President Obama might increase efforts to sit down with Tehran after his re-election, points out Reuters. Iran itself is holding elections in June so any progress in negotiations before then seem unlikely. But things could move after that with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle predicting that “2013 is the decisive year on Iran, especially for political reasons.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Photos of the Crowds That Took Over NYC for the People’s Climate March

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

I Wrote a Novel Envisioning a Nigerian Space Program. Then I Learned Nigeria Actually Has One.

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 22 2014 9:39 AM Adrian Peterson Has a Terrible Contract, and Cutting Him Would Save the Vikings a Lot of Money
The Eye
Sept. 22 2014 9:12 AM What Is This Singaporean Road Sign Trying to Tell Us?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.