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Washington, May 31 — Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, issued the following statement today on Iran:

“The US must not participate in phony diplomacy and diplomatic head fakes in order to force our nation, and the world, into war with Iran.

“Iran has reached out to the United States seeking negotiations to end the current stand-off peacefully. The United States should enter into direct, high-level, negotiations with Iran to peacefully end this stand off. This is exactly what over 70 Members of Congress stated last week when they signed onto a letter, I authored, to President Bush.

“Setting conditions on such talks appears to be an effort to ensure their failure and will only put this nation on the fast track to another unnecessary war.

“The US and the world community would be well served to listen to the words of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mohamed El Baradei who stated yesterday that Iran is not an immediate nuclear threat.

“This Administration, once again assisted by a gullible media, seems determined to repeat the very mistakes that led this nation into, and keeps us in, the ill-advised war in Iraq.

“A peaceful solution to the stand-off with Iran must be the top domestic priority of our nation. The US must begin direct negotiations with Iran, at the highest level, and without predetermined conditions set to ensure failure.

“War with Iran can, and must be, avoided.”

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