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US pursuing 'dead-end strategy' in Iraq, says Larijani

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Oct 1, IRNA
UK Interview-Iran Larijani
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani has said the US is pursuing a "dead-end strategy" in Iraq.

He also suggested that Iran is willing to help Washington stabilise the situation if it sets a withdrawal timetable.

"If they [Americans] have a clear definition of a timetable we'll help them materialise it," Larijani was quoted saying in an interview with London's Financial Times Monday.

But he added: "If the US is persisting with its mistakes, it shouldn't ask for help from us,".

The trouble with Iraq, he said was that the US had a "dead-end strategy."

The Supreme National Security Council chief also suggested that both the US Democratic party and the British government were getting it right in Iraq.

The Democrats' push for a timetable for withdrawal "seems to be logical," he said, and the British were "more intelligent than the Americans", having made the "necessary adjustments" and retreated to Basra airport.

In September both the co-chair of the Iraq Study Group (ISG) Lee Hamilton and Britain's outgoing ambassador to Washington, Sir David Manning Thursday called for serious US efforts to open a wider-ranging dialogue with Iran.

"You cannot solve the problems with Iran in two meetings at ambassadorial level. You have to have long, sustained meetings at a very high level," Hamilton said.

Manning said that he would advise US President George W Bush that he had "nothing to lose" by opening a serious dialogue with Iran on the quagmire in Iraq and suggested that that "at the same time be able you fix the nuclear problem as well."

In his interview, Larijani reportedly said that it was time world powers realised Iran's civilian nuclear progress could not be reversed and that they should enter into negotiations with Tehran without preconditions.

He pledged that Iran would continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and again clarified that there would be no suspension of the country's uranium enrichment programme, which Iran is entitled to pursue under the NPT.

"I'm surprised to hear suspension is still being talked about," as Iran had reached an advanced stage, providing Iran with a "full command of the technology," Larijani said. "This status cannot be ignored," he said.

Larijani confirmed that he would continue to hold talks with Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, and was open to "ideas being put on the table."

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