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Iran: Vice President Says Attitude Toward U.S. Won't Soften

  • Breffni O'Rourke

Davos, Switzerland; 30 January 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar says there is no softening in Iran's attitude to the United States on the government to government level.

Ebtekar told RFE/RL in Davos today that President Mohammad Khatami's recent televised comments to the American people did not represent any change in official policy.

She says Khatami was clearly speaking to the American people and not to the US government. She says the president seeks a genuine cultural dialogue between the Muslim world and the west generally. The Iranian Vice President says she believes stereotypes on both sides must be broken down.

Ebtekar says Khatami had been satisfied by the U.S. reaction to his speech and had not expected more. The US, which accuses Iran of supporting terrorism, has welcomed Khatami's remarks, but has said that it is interested only in deeds, not words.

Ebtekar spoke earlier to a seminar on political Islam at the World Economic Forum at Davos. She came under repeated and lively questioning about Iran's political and social aims.