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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran ready to resume talks on Iraq with U.S.

RIA Novosti

14/10/2008 18:25 TEHRAN, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Tehran is ready to resume talks with Washington on security problems in Iraq, a spokesman for the Iranian embassy in Baghdad said Tuesday.

"Iran is ready to start a new round of talks with the United States on the situation with security in Iraq, but for that, an official request to Iran from American and Iraqi representatives is required," Manouchehr Taslimi was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency.

Taslimi said no such request had so far been presented to Iran.

In early August, the Iraqi foreign minister called for resumption of talks between Iran and the United States on Iraq, but Tehran and Washington did not respond.

The situation was complicated when in May a group of armed people opened fire on an Iranian Embassy car in Baghdad, killing three Iranian officials and an Iraqi soldier. Iran accused the United States of failing to ensure the security of foreign diplomats in Iraq.

The fourth round of talks on Iraq has been postponed several times, with technical reasons cited.

Tehran and Washington held three rounds of talks on Iran at the level of ambassadors and experts in Baghdad in the summer of 2007. Their main result was an agreement to set up a joint trilateral committee to settle security problems in Iraq and strengthen the country's defense capacity.

The U.S.-Iranian talks in the Iraqi capital were the first direct contact between official representatives of the United States and Iran since diplomatic relations were severed in 1979.

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