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Success of talks dependent on U.S. attitude: Iran FM

TEHRAN, May 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said in Tehran on Saturday that there is a chance for a thaw in Iran-U.S. relations in the future if Washington "acknowledges its wrong policies" toward Iran and takes steps to rectify them.

Mottaki's comments came as diplomats from Iran and the United States are preparing for a meeting in Baghdad on Monday.

"One can be optimistic about talks if the United States adopts a realistic view and acknowledges its wrong policies in the past and decides to make amends for them and make a commitment to observe its legal obligations," Mottaki told reporters at a news conference with his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama.

"In this framework, the Islamic Republic is interested in holding talks and helping the people and government of Iraq," the Iranian foreign minister stated.

Asked about the Iranian diplomats who were seized in Irbil, he said Iran is making extensive efforts to obtain their release and has devised a comprehensive plan.

U.S. troops stormed the Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on January 11 and arrested five diplomats under the pretext that they were fomenting violence in Iraq.

"We believe the Iraqi government is responsible for their release, and the U.S. is responsible for this repugnant illegal act," he added.

On the nuclear negotiations between Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Mottaki said arrangements are being made, adding, "We are currently receiving reports on the support of the 5+1 countries (five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) for constructive talks with Iran."

He went on to say that Iran's clear objective is to produce nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes.

"We are prepared to supply some of the fuel needed by nuclear power plants around the world," he announced.

The Sri Lankan foreign minister warned about further complication of the Iranian nuclear dossier and said the issue requires a "political and comprehensive solution."

"There is no need for the crisis to be further enflamed," Bogollagama noted.

Mottaki said that Iran respects Sri Lanka's territorial integrity and supports efforts to establish stability in the country.

Trade between Iran and Sri Lanka stands at about $800 million annually and Iran is the major supplier of crude oil to the South Asian country, Mottaki added.

Bogollagama said that Colombo shares many views with Tehran and would like to expand economic ties with the Islamic Republic.

... Payvand News - 5/26/07 ...

... Payvand News - 5/26/07 ... --

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