Kofi Annan speaking in Vienna today (epa)
May 12, 2006 -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged the United States to talk directly to Iran about its nuclear program.
Annan said Tehran will not negotiate seriously if Washington is not involved in talks that so far have included Britain, France, and Germany.
Annan said the Iran crisis is the most critical issue facing the international community. He urged "all sides to lower the rhetoric and intensify diplomatic efforts to find a solution."
Annan's remarks came on the sidelines of a summit of Latin American and European leaders in Vienna.
PRESIDENT TO PRESIDENT: On May 8, the Iranian government announced that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad had sent a letter to U.S. President George W. Bush. The letter was the first direct communication between leaders of the two countries since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. RFE/RL has posted the English version of Ahmadinejad's letter that was posted on the Iranian president's website.
"The people will scrutinize our presidencies," AHMADINEJAD wrote. "Did we manage to bring peace, security, and prosperity to our people or insecurity and unemployment? Did we intend to establish justice, or just support special-interest groups and -- by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship -- make a few people rich and powerful, -- thus trading the approval of the people and the Almighty for [that of those few]? Did we bring the world peace and security or did we raise the specter of intimidation and threats?"...(more)
For an archive of RFE/RL's coverage of Iran, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
CHRONOLOGY An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.