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Monday, September 17, 2007
Iran prepared for talks with U.S. at Iraq’s request
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - “If the Iraqi officials request Iran to hold the next round of talks with U.S., the country would accept it,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Sunday.
Asked about Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari’s statement that a new round of high level talks between Washington and Tehran is imminent, Hosseini said, “Mr. Zebari had raised this issue before and he is making efforts in line with this.”
“Although we have not seen any changes in U.S. policies and behavior, we are prepared to help the Iraqi government and nation,” he noted.
The U.S. and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq met on August 6 for their third round of security talks in the past two months.
Strong opposition to a U.S. military base on border areas
On a report claiming that the U.S. is seeking to set up a military base near Iran’s western borders with Iraq, Hosseini said “We have not so far heard Washington confirm or deny the report.”
In case this report turns out to be true, the Islamic Republic’s stance would be clear, he said.
“We believe that the U.S. forces have illegally entered a region and have occupied it and now, after devouring its wealth, they are seeking to establish a base to secure their covetous interests in the long run.
“We vehemently condemn this, and (Washington) would face the opposition of the regional nations over the issue.”
U.S. cannot do any threat against Iran
The United States is not in a situation to launch military attacks against Iran, Hosseini stated.
The Islamic Republic has a full defensive power and “we hope that the wise people among U.S. officials would try to prevent actions that would bring nothing but more trouble for their country,” Hosseini told reporters at his weekly press briefing.
“The U.S. threats against Iran are nothing new,” he added.
AEOI head to meet Russian officials on Bushehr station
Hosseini said the Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Gholamreza Aqazadeh is scheduled to hold talks with the Head of Russian Nuclear Power Agency Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko in regard to the launch of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki also discussed the issue with Russian officials during his latest trip to Moscow, Hosseini said, adding that the result of negotiations would be announced next month.
Release of Iranian detainees in Iraq
Iran has presented a list of the detainees’ particulars to Iraq and the Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammadreza Baqeri has also urged their release during his recent trip to Baghdad, Hosseini added.
Hosseini said the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malki had issued an order to consider the release of the Iranians detained on charges of illegally entering Iraq ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which started on September 13.