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    Iran may allow U.S. to open diplomatic post in Tehran

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    Iran may consider a request by the United States to open a diplomatic mission in Tehran if Washington sends it through official channels, the IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

    TEHRAN, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - Iran may consider a request by the United States to open a diplomatic mission in Tehran if Washington sends it through official channels, the IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

    The U.S. has not had any diplomatic presence in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the embassy hostage crisis.

    The Associated Press earlier said "the Bush administration is floating the idea of opening a U.S. interests section in Tehran."

    "In theory, Iranian officials always consider such requests if they are sent officially," IRNA quoted an anonymous Iranian diplomatic source as saying.

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has neither confirmed nor denied the reports, only saying that the U.S. wanted as many Iranian visitors as possible, "We are determined to find ways to reach out to the Iranian people," she said.

    Washington, which continues to insist Iran's controversial uranium enrichment program is aimed at creating a nuclear weapon, has repeatedly threatened to use force if Iran continues on its current path and refuses to give up enrichment.

    U.S. President George W. Bush said during a recent European tour: "We have got to work to stop them from learning how to enrich [uranium]," adding that a nuclear enrichment program "aimed at blackmail or destruction" was unacceptable.

    Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt its nuclear program, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite Western allegations it is geared toward weapon production.

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