AFP: Iranian conservative deputies and newspapers have criticised a decision by Iran to hold talks with the United States over Iraq, with a hardline newspaper describing it as “dancing with wolves”. TEHRAN, May 15, 2007 (AFP) – Iranian conservative deputies and newspapers have criticised a decision by Iran to hold talks with the United States over Iraq, with a hardline newspaper describing it as “dancing with wolves”.
Prominent conservative MP Reza Talai-Nik branded the upcoming talks over conflict-torn Iraq in Baghdad between arch foes Tehran and Washington as a “political and diplomatic mistake.”
“Negotiating with the United States will bear no results, considering the Muslim Iraqi nation’s hatred towards US actions and the confrontational US strategies against Iran,” he told the conservative Jomhuri Eslami paper.
“We could talk to the United States in a suitable atmosphere on equal terms … but America has practically never been sincere in its policies,” lawmaker Hossein Sobhaninia added.
“We have witnessed several American plots to topple the Islamic republic, so talking to a country that does not recognise the Islamic republic’s principles is not diplomatically correct,” he added.
Officials in Tehran and Washington on Sunday both announced that the talks would go ahead in a rare official contact between the two sides. However the timing has not been confirmed and the subject will be limited strictly to Iraq.
The editor of the hardline Kayhan daily, Hossein Shariatmadari, compared talking to the United States to “shaking hands with Satan and dancing with wolves.”
Reformists, however, have welcomed the opening of dialogue between the two countries, who have had no diplomatic ties since radical students raided the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took its staff hostage for 444 days.
“Direct talks over the Iraq crisis could be a good start if the government of (President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad seeks to distance itself from a fully confrontational policy towards the United States,” said the moderate daily Ham Mihan in an editorial.
“But if the government insists on portraying America as sheer evil, the negotiations will only further complicate things between the two countries,” it said.
The US administration accuses Shiite-majority Iran of stirring sectarian violence and meddling in Iraq. It is also spearheading an international campaign to halt Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.