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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S.-Iran to set up subcommittee on Iraq security, talks go on

RIA Novosti

25/07/2007 09:57 TEHRAN, July 25 (RIA Novosti) - Washington and Tehran agreed to set up a trilateral subcommittee on Iraq security on the first day of negotiations and will continue discussions at the expert level Wednesday, an Iraqi official told ISNA.

"During seven hours of negotiations, ambassadors from Iran and the United States agreed to continue debating Iraqi issues in Baghdad at the level of the two countries' experts," the official told the Iranian news agency.

Following the second round of negotiations with his Iranian counterpart in the past two months, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker said experts would consider the security issues, be it the alleged training of Shiite militants, support for al-Qaeda, or border security.

The U.S. delegation declined to discuss another sensitive issue - the release of five Iranian diplomats who American servicemen arrested in January after storming the Iranian consulate in northern Iraq, saying they were Iranian agents linked to Iraqi militants.

Iranian Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi told the Iranian IRNA agency that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had made a protest to the U.S. for its questioning the release of the diplomats and had confirmed their diplomatic immunity.

Iranian authorities in turn arrested four ethnic Iranian Americans in Tehran in May on suspicion of trying to undermine Iranian security. Iranian television broadcast two of the detainees, employees of U.S. non-governmental organizations, who admitted attempting to damage Iranian security. U.S. authorities have maintained that the American nationals are innocent.

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