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Issue of kidnapped diplomats in Iraq on agenda in Iran-US talks

Tehran, June 12, IRNA - Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi Qomi said on Tuesday that the issue of five Iranian diplomats the US forces kidnapped in Iran will be included in the next round of Iran-US talks on Iraq security.

He told reporters that the next round of talks between Iran and US would lead to a workable solution to help resolve Iraq's security problems.

He said that since the Iranian diplomats have been kidnapped in Iraqi territory and in the meantime the Iraqi officials would also attend the meeting, the issue would absolutely be among topics to be discussed between the parties.

Qomi said that Iraqi government has declared that it would do its utmost to help release the Iranian kidnapped diplomats and both Iraqi prime minister and foreign minister have expressed hope that the Iranian diplomats would be released in the near future.

On probable timetable for the new round of talks between Iran and US, he said it depends on Iraqi prime minister's decision.

He also said that the level of talks would depend on the topics of the agenda.

Since the US officials have accepted to let the families of Iranian diplomats visit them, he expressed the hope that the visit would be held within coming days.

On consular visit with Iranian diplomats, he said they have informed that there is no problem to this respect and "I will follow up the matter when I go back to Iraq."

He said that no exact date has been specified for release of Iranian kidnapped diplomats but the Iraqi officials are optimistic about their immediate release.

On formation of trilateral committee between Iran, Iraq and US proposed during the Iran-US talks on iraq security, he said the parties are expected to present their views on composition of the committee in due time.

During the current visit of Iraqi deputy prime minister Barham Saleh to Tehran various topics including expansion of cooperation would be discussed with the Iranian officials, he said. Saleh arrived in Tehran on Sunday evening.

The Iranian ambassador said that the Iraqi prime minister and president have extended their invitation to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Iraq but the exact time of the visit has not being specified yet.

FM warns against prolonged detention of Iranian diplomats

Tehran, June 12, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here Tuesday warned US against continuing detention of the five Iranian diplomats in Iraqi city of Erbil.

Mottaki was speaking in a joint press conference with the African Union Commission chief and former president of Mali Alpha Omar Konare while pointing to arrest of five Iranian diplomats by the US forces in Erbil on January 11, 2007.

"We will make the US regret its heinous and illegal act," he said.

He stressed the necessity to release the consular officials at the earliest.

Iran would write to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon within the next two days to criticize the UN Security Council's indifference and clear and unjustifiable discrimination for its procrastination to put the case on the council's agenda, the minister said.

He noted in his talks with the visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Berham Salih, the two sides discussed detention of the five diplomats.

Mottaki said families of the five diplomats would meet with Salih later today (Tuesday).

Asked about continuation of Iran-US talks on Iraq, he stated, "The US, itself, is a part of Iraq's problem.

"In case of the US determination to change its policies, we will examine a call by the Iraqi government to continue talks with a positive view."

... Payvand News - 6/12/07 ... --

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