TV debate offer, not phone conversation: Iran's Government spokesman

Iran Materials 4 September 2006 17:32 (UTC +04:00)

(IRNA) - Government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham here Monday referred to a proposal by a US daily on holding a telephone conversation between the US President George W. Bush and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said that the president's offer for a TV debate with Bush does not mean a telephone conversation, reports Trend.

Elham told reporters at his weekly press conference that President Ahmadinejad offered an invitation to the US president on Tuesday for a televised debate without any censorship so that Iran would put forward its views on ways out of the current international crises.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad has announced he was ready to raise outstanding issues of international community and Iran's international concerns as well as other topics relating to prospects of an international management, interaction between peoples and states in an atmosphere with no censorship and open for judgment of public opinion and media," he said.

He added, "A proposal made by a US daily is at the level of a paper suggestion and does not mean debate. Negotiations is another issue."

Asked about current visit by former president Mohammad Khatami to the US, the spokesman said, "It is an unofficial, non-state and private visit.

"Khatami has paid such visits in the past."