TEHRAN, May 20 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran and the United States should make efforts to devise a common strategy to combat the violence and terrorism plaguing Iraq in their upcoming talks on the situation in that country, former Islamic Revolution Guards Corps general and strategist Hossein Alaii said here on Sunday.
The Iran-U.S. talks will focus on the relentless carnage and the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Alaii told the Mehr News Agency.
"As long as unrest persists in Iraq, and unemployment and economic woes continue, and security is not established in the country, there will be no prospect for any solution to these problems," Alaii observed.
Thus, the Iraqi people and the occupiers should make concerted efforts to find a way to extricate themselves from the quagmire, he added.
The root of the unrest must be studied and analyzed first before Iran and the U.S. can find a compromise on how to help establish security in Iraq, he said.
Clearly, the violence and terrorism in Iraq is a direct result of the U.S. occupation, and the incompetence and miscalculations of the occupying forces have only exacerbated the situation, he stated.
However, the United States needs Iran, and the two sides are in complete consensus that they must closely cooperate to resolve the Iraq crisis, he added.
He went on to say that the security of Iraq is tremendously important for Iran, so much so that Tehran is prepared to put aside its differences with the U.S. for the time being and work together to remedy the situation.
Alaii believes the fact that certain Arab states are providing assistance to Iraqi terrorist groups is a factor behind the unrest and said Washington should tell them to halt such activities.
Boroujerdi made the remarks in a meeting with Portuguese ambassador to Tehran on Sunday.
According to Information and Press Bureau of Majlis, at the meeting Boroujerdi said that since Iran's nuclear activities are crystal clear and under full supervision of IAEA, it is advisable and logical to continue mutual negotiations since making the issue complex will not meet the objectives of the Group 5+1.
Referring to the deep rooted Irano-Portuguese historical ties and the fact that Portugal would assume the upcoming rotating presidency of the European Union, he expressed the hope that Tehran and Lisbon will exchange high ranking political, economic and parliamentary delegations in the interest of both sides.
The Portuguese ambassador, for his part, described direct talks between Iran and US as a suitable opportunity to ease regional tensions and help resolve Iraq's issue.
Given historical ties between Iran and Portugal, he called for expansion of political and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The Portuguese ambassador extended an invitation from head of foreign policy and defense commission of Portuguese parliament to Boroujerdi to pay an official visit to the country and expressed the hope that the two sides would witness further expansion of bilateral ties mainly during Portugal's rotating presidency of the European Union.
Welcoming the invitation, Boroujerdi called it a suitable opportunity to define Iran's stance on regional and international developments, peaceful application of nuclear energy and expansion of ties between the two countries.
Portugal is to assume rotating presidency of the European Union from January.
EU is now chaired by Germany.
"These negotiations can bear fruit only if the U.S. chooses to settle its disputes with Iran and put an end to its longstanding enmity," the international relations expert stated.
Obviously, conducting talks with the U.S. in the current situation is good per se, because the conditions have changed since six months ago, when it appeared that the talks would have not been in Iran's interests due to the U.S. policies, Mojtahedzadeh observed.
"Developments over the past six months indicate that the U.S. is interested in putting an end to the problems and is fully aware that extricating itself from the Iraq quagmire is possible only with Iran's assistance," he said.
However, before entering negotiations, Tehran should make sure that the U.S. really wants to resolve its problems with Iran and is not just trying to further complicate the situation, he added.
Referring to Iran's participation in the recent Sharm el-Sheikh conference in Egypt, he stated that Tehran has repeatedly shown its goodwill by sincerely seeking to resolve problems, so Washington should follow suit and engage in talks with Iran.
The two sides should really engage in talks with the aim of resolving their differences, Mojtahedzadeh suggested.
"In these talks, the main point should be to resolve the problems facing Iraq, and on the sidelines of these talks Tehran and Washington could then separately consider their issues," he said.
Referring to the nuclear issue and the negotiations between Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Mojtahedzadeh noted that Solana had explicitly declared that the dispute over Iran's nuclear program could only be resolved through direct talks between Tehran and Washington.
"On the sidelines of these negotiations, the two sides should also discuss Iran's nuclear program and should seek to make these talks a springboard for future dialogue," he said.
MP Elham Aminzadeh of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said that reminding the occupiers of their responsibilities is Iran's only purpose in negotiating with the U.S.
If a solution can be found to the Iraq crisis, one of the major problems of the region would be resolved, she noted.
Emphasizing that the Iraq issue is the only point on the agenda of the upcoming Iran-U.S. talks, she said that future discussions on other issues would require an expert plan.
She also expressed hope that the talks with the U.S. would follow a carefully defined plan and lead to the desired results.
Mojtaba Vahedi, the chief editor of the Aftab Yazd daily newspaper, was not optimistic.
"I think the upcoming negotiations will end without yielding any results," he said.
"The rhetoric used by the two sides is not 'pre-negotiation' rhetoric, and they will not be able to settle their disputes during the next stages," Vahedi stated.
The proper conditions for convergence of the Iranian and U.S. stances on Iraq do not exist, he argued.
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