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Technical reasons, cause of delay in Iran-US talks on Iraq: FM

Tehran, March 9, IRNA - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in Tehran Sunday that the delay in Iran-US talks on Iraq was due to technical reasons.

He told reporters on the sidelines of an international conference on Iran's peaceful nuclear program that the fourth round of Iran-US talks on Iraq was postponed due to technical reasons.

The Iranian and US officials have so far held three rounds of talks on Iraqi situation on May 28, July 24 and August 6, 2007 respectively.

The talks were attended by Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi Qomi, his US counterpart Ryan Crocker and representatives of the Iraqi government.

An Iranian delegation arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday, March 5, for the fourth round of talks with the US on Iraqi security which was scheduled to be held on Thursday.

The fourth round of talks was to be held at the request of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from Iran.

According to reports, al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, in their separate meetings with the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week, called for resumption of Iran-US talks on Iraq.

Meanwhile, the US announced on Thursday that it was not well-prepared to attend trilateral talks on Iraq's security.

Prior to the visit of the Iranian president to Baghdad, the US had voiced readiness to attend talks on Iraq's security but after the Iranian delegation announced its readiness to participate in the meeting, they announced that they were not ready at that juncture.

Political analysts believe that after the recent visit of the Iranian president to Baghdad and the warm welcome accorded to him by the Iraqi people, the US became totally confused about these developments and was unable to make any decision in this regard.

Readiness of the Iranian delegation to take part in the meeting once again proved the falsehood of US allegations about Iran's support for the country's insecurity.

Iran to evaluate US policies after presidential election Mottaki said that the Islamic Republic of Iran will evaluate the White House policies after a new president is elected and then will make decisions.

He made the remarks while commenting on the upcoming US elections and in response to a question on whether or not the new US president would improve Tehran-Washington ties.

"Negotiations with Washington is not on Iran's agenda," he said adding that the ongoing talks between the Iranian and US officials are only aimed at establishment of security and stability in the war-torn Iraq.

... Payvand News - 03/09/08 ... --

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