From remarks by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at a news conference on Wednesday in Washington:

Q: Yesterday another kind of people-to-people contact was brought up in this room, specifically relating to Iran. And I'm wondering if you can tell us how committed you and the administration are to achieving the kind of diplomatic trips to Iran that have thus far been rebuffed by the Iranians.

Madeleine Albright: Well, let me say we have now for some time been waiting for an improvement in our relations, based on -- if you remember a speech that I gave a couple of years ago now, in which I outlined what a possible road map was towards a better relationship, that included a people-to-people part of this. And we have asked -- we have been in favor of having a dialogue with them in which both sides could raise whatever issues we needed to raise.

For us, in our case, we have been obviously very concerned about their desire to acquire weapons of mass destruction, their lack of support for the Middle East peace process and their support for various terrorist groups. So those are the kinds of subjects that we would want to discuss.

We are trying to figure out a way to build on the possibilities of a people-to-people program. There have been some Iranians that have come to the United States -- wrestlers and various kinds of people. And we wanted to be able to improve the ability of Americans to go to Iran, which is one reason that we have been talking about having some American consular officers visit there.