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Iran-Group 5+1 meeting to be held in near future: FM

Tehran, July 25, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Wednesday Iranian officials would meet with representative of the Group 5+1 in the near future after fixing an exact date for the event.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a cabinet meeting, the minister said discussions are underway between the two sides to make necessary coordination for the meeting.

Referring to Tuesday talks between Iran and officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna, Mottaki said it was "limited talks" held at the level of deputies of IAEA and Iran's SNSC.

Iran's Under-Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Javad Vaeedi and the IAEA Safeguards chief, Olli Heinonen held the second round of Iran-IAEA talks at the UN office in the Austrian capital behind closed doors.

The two side agreed that IAEA inspectors would inspect Iran's heavy-water nuclear site in Arak, central Iran, next week.

"Good discussions were held during the meeting," said the minister adding, Iran-IAEA previous talks in Tehran on July 12 led to a "specific agreement upon which a large number of outstanding questions" about Iran's peaceful nuclear activities would be answered.

Iran may consider higher level contacts with US on Iraq

Iran will consider the question of Iran-US talks on Iraq at the level of deputy foreign ministers, said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Wednesday.

Mottaki's remarks came while he was commenting on a US request for continuation of Tehran-Washington talks over security issues in Iraq at the deputy foreign ministers level.

"The issue can be considered if a formal request is received from the US side," said the minister speaking to reporters at the end of a Cabinet session.

Iran and US started the second round of their talks on Iraq in al-Khadra district, west of Baghdad, on Tuesday at ambassadorial level.

Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi Qomi chaired the Iranian delegation while his US counterpart, Ryan Crocker represented US in the meeting.

The first round of Iran-US talks on Iraq was also held with the participation of Qomi and Crocker in Baghdad on July 28.

Mottaki: Iran talks with its enemy to help restore Iraq's security

Mottaki said that the Islamic Republic of Iran agreed to hold talks with its arch enemies solely to help restore Iraq's security.

Mottaki made the remarks in a meeting with leaders of world Assyrians in Tehran.

"Iraq's stability and security is regarded as the stability and security of the whole region and Iran is not an exception to the rule," he said.

Iraq is now suffering from two major problems as 'terrorism' and 'continued occupation' of the country, he said.

"We strongly condemn terrorism in Iraq and have always declared that we spare no efforts to help restore stability and security to the war-torn country," he said.

The US should pull out its forces from Iraq, he said, adding that the current problems of Iraq as well as the whole region emanated from the US wrong policies.

The American forces cannot restore Iraq's security, nor can they maintain their own security, he said.

"Insecurity stemming from aggression of aliens forces is now threatening the whole region," he said.

Iran has always respected all religious minorities, he said.

Iraq security, campaign against terrorism among topics of Iran-US talks

Mottaki said on Wednesday that during direct talks with the US and Iraqi officials, various issues including restoration of security to Iraq and campaign against terrorism were among topics on the agenda.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he said they also discussed release of five kidnapped Iranian diplomats in Erbil.

The three countries also agreed to form a security committee to help the Iraqi government restore the country's security in the long run, Mottaki said.

"During the talks we explicitly outlined our stance on wrong allegations made by the US officials," he said.

On recent fatwa issued by some Saudi Muftis calling for destruction of Shia holy sites, he said the issue would be pursued by Iranian and Saudi officials.

"We think the issue has been masterminded by those who seek to sow seeds of discords among Muslims," he said, adding that this requires collective vigilance on part of all nations.

The Saudi ambassador said on Tuesday that the two sides relations are based on mutual respect, Mottaki said.

Iran and Saudi Arabia should not let the seditious elements to create rift among nations in the region, he underlined.

... Payvand News - 7/25/07 ... --

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