Iran cool on talks with US

Iran has reacted coolly to calls for contacts with the United States to stabilise Iraq.

    Manouchehr Mottaki: Iran is not asking for negotiations

    "We are ready to consider any kind of request but that does not mean that we would accept," Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister said on Tuesday.

    "The position of the Islamic republic is clear. We are not asking for negotiations."
      
    Moves by the US to open up talks with Iran in Baghdad to promote peace in Iraq earlier this year came to nothing amid mutual recriminations, despite initial cautious expressions of acceptance.

    "Before, some Iraqi officials asked for negotiations between Iran and the United States to help Iraq," said Mottaki.

    "Iran accepted but owing to the bad character of the United  States and its desire to make propaganda, Iran cancelled," he said.  "There is no new decision." 

    There has been speculation in the US that the bipartisan Iraq study panel would endorse contacts with Iran and Syria in its final  report.

    But President George Bush rejected calls for new overtures. Tony Blair, the British prime minister, had also issued a stark warning to Iran.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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