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Iran says willing to hold new talks with U.S. over Iraq
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07:33, July 18, 2007

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 U.S. ready for new direct talks with Iran: spokesman
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Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Tuesday that his country would like to hold a second round of talks with the United States over Iraq issue if Washington asks for it first.

"We are very positive toward holding such kind of new talks in the near future," Mottaki told reporters at a press conference.

"Iraqi authorities requested this (Iran-U.S.)talk, but we have told them the Americans should deliver their demand through the official channel, which is the Swiss Embassy in Iran," he added.

The Swiss Embassy in Tehran has been looking after U.S. interests in Iran since the two countries severed diplomatic relations in 1980.

Iranian leaders recently have reiterated Tehran was ready to talk with the United States over Iraq. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on July 9 that Iran would like to provide any kind of helps to help Iraq stabilize its security, including having more dialogues with America.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Tuesday the White House is prepared to have new direct talks with Iran on Iraq 's security and violence.

"We think that given the situation in Iraq and given Iran's continued behavior that is leading to further instability in Iraq, it would be appropriate to have another face-to-face meeting to directly convey to the Iranian authorities if they wish to see a more stable, secure, peaceful Iraq ... they need to change their behavior," McCormack said.

"They (Iranians) need to stop supporting sectarian militias that are exacerbating sectarian tensions, they need to stop supporting EFP (Explosively-Formed Projectile) networks that pose a threat to our troops," he added.

The proposed U.S.-Iran talks will be held, but the date for the meeting has not been fixed yet, the spokesman said.

On May 28, U.S. and Iranian diplomats met for four hours in Baghdad to discuss security in Iraq.

Source: Xinhua



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