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FM spokesman : Iran doubts US good intention in talks on Iraq

Tehran, April 9, IRNA-Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi here Sunday said that Iran is doubtful about the US good intention in the upcoming talks on Iraq.

Briefing the media on the time and venue of the forthcoming Iran-US talks, he added that details of the predicted negotiations are not yet clear.

Meanwhile, he noted that the forthcoming talks will merely focus on Iraq and that no other matter will be on the agenda.

Asefi pointed to the US policies towards Iran as a blunder and said that before anything it should change its approach towards Iran and the regional issues.

Turning to the repeated calls of the American administrators for talk with Iran, the spokesman said that the US ambassador to Baghdad has declared four times through the media and 10 times through Iraqi officials that his country is prepared to negotiate with Iran.

He pointed out that given the past experience with the US, Iran has so far rejected all these calls.

Asefi pointed to the recent call of Iraqi officials on the matter and said that despite its pessimism and precaution, this time Iran responded to such calls positively to discuss the occupiers withdrawal from Iraq and call on the US to revise its performance in the country.

He added that the US procrastination in Iraq accounts for the current difficulties in the country.

In response to a question whether Iran will discuss its opposition groups with the US, he noted that the talks will basically be limited the security in Iraq and that its dissidents residing overseas are hardly worth being paid attention.

"If the US intends to count upon the opposition groups it may proceed with doing so, but from our outlook, these groups are so insignificant that do not even need to be bothered with.

Concerning the remarks of the US Ambassador and Permanent Envoy to the UN John Bolton that his country has in view other options beyond the UN Security Council for imposing sanctions against Iran, he said that if Bolton looks back at the US performance, he will see that similar sanctions imposed in the past have been ineffective.

Asefi referred to Bolton's remarks as unimportant and said that Iran has made plans for various alternatives and is prepared to face anything.

Replying to a question about the issue of US possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations, he named it as a psychological warfare and said that it is rooted in the rage and helplessness of the U.S. administration.

Turning to the dates declared by some foreign media for such attack, such as March 27-28, the official said in a humorous tone that already several weeks had past the indicated date.

"Given the US reluctance to witness Iran's nuclear case be settled, it does not want to see agreement reached by Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, Europe and Russia. This accounts for the ongoing psychological warfare, a measure also taken in the past," he added.

Asked whether the people have been asked to express their view on holding talks with the US, he said that the scheduled talks will take place in a limited framework and will focus on the specific issue of change of the US approach to Iraq.

"Besides, according to the call of Iraqi officials, the talks will be conducted in accordance with the country's policies at the National Security High Council," added Asefi.

About the reason for not holding talks with the US for the sake of Iran's national interests, he said that given the wrong approach of the US towards Iran in the past, such negotiations will be out of question, unless its attitude is revised.

... Payvand News - 4/9/06 ... --

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