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Iran showed "goodwill" by agreeing to talks: Velayati


TEHRAN, May 29 (Mehr News Agency) - Former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati said on Tuesday that Iran "showed its goodwill" by agreeing to negotiate with the United states on stabilizing Iraq. "Agreeing to requests for negotiations showed Iran's goodwill, even though the Americans have made hostile statements against Iran in recent days," Velayati told reporters in Mashhad.

He said, "Monday's talks came due to a request by the U.S. and an insistence by senior Iraqi officials especially Mr. Maliki (Iraq's prime minister," said Valayati who currently acts as senior advisor to Supreme Leader on foreign policy and international issues.

The Iranian and U.S. ambassadors to Iraq - Hassan Kazemi-Qomi and Ryan Crocker - held four hours of intensive talks on Iraq on Monday which the two sides described as positive. The Iranian ambassador said the two sides would meet again in less than a month.

Velayati said Iran seriously wants the Iraqi people to manage a normal life and the U.S. troops to leave this country.

Velayati, who headed Iran's foreign policy for 16 years, defended the talks and said, "In my view the participation of Iran in the negotiations will play an important role in creating good understanding in the region and proves that, despite a propaganda by the enemies, Iran doesn't seek insecurity in Iraq but it seriously wants a return of security to Iraq."

Mohsen Rezaii, the former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the current secretary of the Expediency Council, described the talks as a "political earthquake" in the region.

He said this is the firs time that a "global power" like the U.S. and a "third world country" like Iran sit together and discuss an important issue like Iraq.

He said this has been unprecedented in the last 100 years.

Negotiations are in danger

Political analyst Alireza Davari told the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday what made the diplomatic negotiations too difficult was a strong opposition by a great number of powerful officials in comparison to small and less powerful defenders of the talks in each side.

"The tools and efforts for making the talks to reach a deadlock are much stronger than the tools and strategies for making the talks successful" and this would make the situation dangerous, the analyst commented.

He said the U.S. considers the these talks as the "last diplomatic opportunity" for finding an exit strategy from the current dilemma as insurgencies are taking great death toll on its soldiers and that is why the U.S. officials have a "positive" view of the talks.

He stated the success of the talks would be considered a victory for the realists in the face of neocons who oppose dialogue between Tehran and Washington.

He cited serious differences between Democrats and Republicans over the Iraq war, a friction between President George W. Bush and the Iraqi Shiite government, and lack of ties between Tehran and the U.S. as three major challenges which Bush wants to resolve through negotiations with Iran.

... Payvand News - 5/30/07 ...

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