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Iran, critical of US delay over consular access to diplomats

Tehran, June 24, IRNA - Iran is critical of US delay over consular access to Iranian diplomats in Iraq, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Sunday.

Hosseini made the remarks at his weekly press conference when asked about the latest status of five Iranian diplomats kidnapped by the US troops in Iraqi city of Erbil last January.

"We have pursued the case through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"Families of the diplomats were supposed to meet them in Baghdad yesterday (Saturday) but at the last moment the US said it needs 15 more days. This showed lack of cooperation on part of the US."

Iran has transparent stand on Iraq

Hosseini said that summing-up of the first round of Iran-US-Iraq talks needs more time since political issues should be studied from different dimensions.

Talking to reporters during his weekly press briefing, he said, "We cannot announce an exact date for final evaluation of the first round of talks." Tehran has repeatedly announced its transparent stand regarding the situation in Iraq, he said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in strengthened stability and security in Iraq."

On Iran-US talks on Iraq, Hosseini reiterated, "What Iran focuses on is Iraqi security and nothing more."

On visit to Iran of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Lantos, he said no formal request has been received from him.

"No new request has been made by Lantos. The issue was set forth repeatedly in the past without any formal request from Lantos," Hosseini said.

... Payvand News - 6/24/07 ... --

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