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Mottaki: Talks with US about Iraq no longer needed

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Baghdad, Feb 11, IRNA -- Visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here Wednesday that Tehran, Washington and Baghdad no longer need to hold talks on Iraq in view of the improved security conditions in the country.

“We think conditions in Iraq have changed with the past and we think the improvement in security conditions is the result of the will of Iraq's government and the fact that it has assumed its responsibilities," said Mottaki in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.

"We believe Iraqi statesmen's prudent management will bring full security back to Iraq. So, we do no see any reason for holding tripartite talks on Iraq security."

He added, "We had already told foreign forces in Iraq that if they leave the country one day sooner it will be to their benefit."

Iran and the US have held three rounds of direct talks since May 2007 on Iraq security issues.

Iran's top diplomat further said change in US foreign policies during presidency of Barack Obama will be good news.

Mottaki said, "We view positively the slogan that Obama raised in the elections. The world has really changed. If the American administration wants to keep up with the changes, this will be good news…. We think these changes will provide excellent opportunities for the American administration in its relations with the countries of the world."

He said, "As diplomats, we are destined to be optimistic, and we wish this would come true."

Meanwhile, Zerbari, congratulating the Iranian nation on the 30th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, thanked Iran for supporting Iraq in the reconstruction and the process of forming a government in the post-Saddam era.

On Iran-US-Iraq talks, Zebari said, "We have since the beginning been encouraging such meetings and we do still do that."

He said that Mottaki will visit Karbala, Suleymaniah and Arbil north of Iraq, adding that during the visits Iran's consul-generals in the three cities will be named.

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