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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

No need to promote level of Iran-US talks: FM spokesman

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 13, IRNA
Iran sees no need to promote the level of its talks with US on Iraq's security, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said Sunday night.

He made the remarks in a televised interview with Channel One of Iran state-run television.

Referring to the next (4th) round of Iran-US talks, the spokesman told his host at the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), "The negotiating teams are due to consult with their capitals (Tehran and Washington) and with the Iraqi side over the outcome of the third round of their talks held in Baghdad on August 6.

"They would decide on the next round of talks afterward," Hosseini said.

Asked if Iran will receive any concession for its help to US over the question of Iraq, Hosseini said, "No."

"We believe any help offered by Iran to restore security and stability to Iraq would benefit the Iraqi people and its government as well as its neighbors and the whole region," Hosseini stressed.

He explained that Iran has accepted to enter talks with US over Iraq "upon an invitation by the Iraqi officials and an official request by the US.

"Tehran considers Iraq's security its own security," stressed the spokesman.

Asked if Iran would not set the release of its five kidnapped diplomats in Iraq as a precondition for its talks with US, Hosseini said, "When the main subject of the (Iran-US) talks is about Iraq's security, then you can not set a precondition which would add a new ring to the main chain of talks."

The spokesman, however, stated that during the third round of Iran-US talks, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hushyar Zebari, also present in the meeting, had "officially told the US side that the diplomats' presence in the northern Iraqi province of Erbil was completely official and legal.

"They (diplomats) were busy doing their legal duties," Hosseini quoted the Iraqi minister as saying.

The spokesman said that Zebari had "explicitly asked for the release of the Iranian diplomats" during the third round of Iran-US talks.


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