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U.S.-Iranian security talk on Iraq postponed
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08:27, February 15, 2008

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Iran has informed Iraq of itsdecision to postpone its next round of meeting with the UnitedStates over security in Iraq, an Iraqi Foreign Ministry sourcetold Xinhua on Thursday.

"We have learned that Iran told the Iraqi government that ithas again asked to delay the meeting with the Americans aboutsecurity in Iraq," the source told Xinhua on condition ofanonymity.

He said that Iran neither gave reason for the delay norspecified a date for the coming meeting.

Iran was scheduled to hold a fourth round of talks at theexpert level with the United States over the Iraqi issue on Friday,the source said.

The U.S. embassy in Iraq was not immediately available for anycomment.

It was the second delay of the fourth round of U.S.-Iraniantalks over Iraq. Last December witness the first postponement ofthe talk.

The U.S. has been accusing Iran of aiding Iraq's Shiiteinsurgents. But Tehran categorically rejects the allegation. U.S. officials said recently that attacks involving weaponsfrom Iran seemed to be decreasing, but the training and financialsupports are still there.

Last year, the two countries held two ambassador-level talks onthe Iraqi security issue in May and July, and an expert-levelmeeting in August.

Iran has a strong influence among Iraqi Shiites. Relations ofthe two countries, which fought an eight-year war in the 1980s,have picked up since the fall of Iraq's former president SaddamHussein in 2003.

Iraqi leaders have paid several visits to Iran since 2005.Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Jan. 28 thatPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to make a tour to Iraqwithin two months.

The postponement of U.S.-Iranian talks came two days after asenior commander of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, ImadMoughniyah, was assassinated in a car explosion on Tuesday nightin the Syrian capital Damascus.

Source: Xinhua



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