US - Iran to hold talks on Iraq
Iraq-Iran-USA, Politics, 5/15/2007
Any talks with the US should be held in a way which would preserve national dignity and authority, said an Iranian Majlis representative yesterday, while commenting on reports about future talks between Iran and the US about Iraq.
Maintaining national interests and dignity is one of the major principles to be taken into consideration for establishing any diplomatic ties with the US, said Effat Shariati Koh-Banani, Majlis deputy from the city of Mashhad and Kalat in northeastern province of Khorassan Razavi.
Referring to Tehran's special status both in the region and in the international arena, she stressed that preserving such position in all international relations is a "must." "Iran should, by no means, enter into any talks with any country from a weak point," Koh-Banani said, suggesting that Iran should "instead strongly support its national interests with full authority."
Yesterday, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad said Iran and the United States would hold talks on Iraq security. He made the remark while speaking to reporters at a press conference. "The US has called for holding talks with Iran to settle security problems in Iraq. We have announced our readiness for talks to help the Iraqi government and nation," he said.
He added, "But the exact date and venue of talks have not been determined yet. Both sides prefer talks to be held in Iraq in presence of the Iraqi government."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Sunday Iran has agreed to hold talks with the US on Iraq. "Following consultations between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Tehran has agreed to hold negotiations with Washington to relieve pains and sufferings of the Iraqi people, support and strengthen the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and stabilize security and peace in that country," he said.
Pointing to the US accusations against Iran on Iraq, Ahmadi-Nejad said, "Iran and Iraq have very friendly ties. Those who came to the region from thousands of kilometers away cause trouble.
"They are used to looking for an external factor instead of accepting their mistakes whenever they fail."
The occupiers' plans in Iraq have totally failed, the president said, adding, "The solution (to the Iraqi crisis) is based on respect for rights and dignity of the Iraqi people and end the country's occupation."
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said on Sunday that Iran and the United States will meet in Baghdad in the next few weeks to discuss Iran taking a "productive role" in Iraq's security. He said that US Ambassador to Iraq Chester Crocker will represent the United States.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari welcomed the talks by saying, "This is a positive sign the US is a major player and so is Iran, and there will be room for some substantial discussions for the stability of Iraq."
The US formal call for talks with Iran on Iraq has been presented to Iranian officials through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said Sunday.
The United Iraqi Alliance on Sunday welcomed Iran's decision to hold talks with the US on Iraq.
The alliance showed the first reaction on Tehran's readiness to negotiate with Washington establishment of stability and security in Iraq. A leading member of the United Iraqi Alliance said that all Iraqi political groups welcome talks between Iran and the US on Iraq's security.
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