GOP Senator Urges Direct U.S.-Iran Talks

From Times Wire Reports

Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and three Democratic colleagues called for direct U.S. talks with Iran to defuse political tension about its nuclear capability and address global concerns about energy supplies.

“I think that would be useful,” said Lugar, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We need to make headway diplomatically. Maybe we need to focus our attention less right now” on nuclear issues, considering that Iran is the world’s No. 2 holder of gas and oil reserves.

Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut also endorsed talks.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Iran had produced enough enriched uranium to fuel a nuclear reactor. The Bush administration has resisted direct talks, saying Iran’s program is a front to develop nuclear weapons.