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Iranian newspaper urges Iran to consider proposal to hold talks with US

Tehran, Nov 29, IRNA-An Iranian morning daily on Tuesday urged the Iranian officials to positively consider the recent proposal of the US Ambassador in Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to talk with Tehran in a calm and rational manner.

The English-language daily 'Iran News' quoted Khalilzad as recently telling the US leading news magazine, Newsweek, "I've been authorized by the president to engage the Iranians as I engaged them in Afghanistan directly. There will be face to face meetings," wrote 'Iran News'.

"Apparently, the Americans intend to seek Iran's assistance in controlling the unrest in Iraq," the editorial added.

Referring to Khalilzad as a Farsi speaker and a native of Afghanistan who was one of George W. Bush's chief foreign policy advisers before he became president, the paper said he was deeply involved in America's post-September 11 foreign policy.

"Some observers believe the US has finally come to the realization that stability in the region is not achievable without Iran," it wrote.

Stressing that Iran is one of the most important and powerful players in this part of the world, the daily argued, "Due to its enormous geopolitical, geostrategic and geoeconomic significance, sidestepping Tehran is simply not possible."

Similarly to what happened between Iran and US in 2001 regarding their talks on Afghanistan, any new contact between the Islamic Republic and the United States is likely to be just as limited, tactical and focused primarily on Iraq and not on broader and much more contentious Iran-US ties, noted the article.

It added as the dialogue is likely to be at an ambassadorial level, it "will not mean that the two countries have changed their strategic positions toward one another or that they agree with each other's policies."

"The Islamic Republic's interests in its next-door neighbor to the west include the return of peace and stability, border security, departure of foreign troops, fate of the Iraq-based Iranian terrorist group MKO, etc," argued the daily.

It also quoted Mohammad-Javad Larijani, director of international affairs at Iran's Judiciary as saying, "In politics, we should work with our enemies 80% of the time and only 20% of the time with our friends."

It concluded by stressing that an occupied Iraq is not in a position to provide any tangible commitments to its neighbors.

... Payvand News - 11/29/05 ... --

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