VIENNA, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday he welcomed the U.S. initiative to begin direct talks with Iran without any preconditions and on the basis of mutual respect.
U.S. President Barack Obama has said that in talks on the Iranian nuclear program the United States must be ready to move forward without any preconditions and taking into account the importance of this issue for the international community.
"This gives a basis for the hope that a sincere dialogue could result in the complete resolution of many problems concerning security, political and economic issues, which have been on the agenda for over 50 years," Mohammad ElBaradei said.
"The key element of such a resolution must be the reaching of an agreement that could guarantee Iran its right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on condition of the necessary guarantees for the international community that its nuclear activities are of an exclusively peaceful nature," he said.
ElBaradei added that he hoped Tehran would respond to the U.S. initiative "with the same gesture of good will and measures to enhance trust."
The West accuses Iran of secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program, but the Islamic Republic says it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.