News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraqi Defence Minister: Talks with Iran out of the...

Iraqi Defence Minister: Talks with Iran out of the question

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Iran Focus: Cairo, Jan. 04 – Iraq’s Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan rejected the idea of direct dialogue with Iran yesterday, saying that Iran had no interest in dialogue and only sought to destabilise Iraq. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gaith, Shaalan also hinted that Iraq should postpone its January 30th general election if Sunni groups who have threatened to boycott the election were willing to participate in one set for a later date. Iran Focus

Cairo, Jan. 04 – Iraq’s Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan rejected the idea of direct dialogue with Iran yesterday, saying that Iran had no interest in dialogue and only sought to destabilise Iraq.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gaith, Shaalan also hinted that Iraq should postpone its January 30th general election if Sunni groups who have threatened to boycott the election were willing to participate in one set for a later date.

Responding to a question about whether dialogue with Iran serves any purpose, Shaalan reaffirmed, “Iran is not seeking bilateral talks; rather its goal is to dominate Iraq”.

The 1,500km-border between Iran and Iraq practically remains open, with only a few checkpoints manned by intelligence and security forces, he said

Shaalan asserted that he was optimistic that the January 6th conference in Amman, Jordan by Iraq’s neighbours to discuss Iraq’s security would result in Arab nations condemning the meddling and insurgencies directed from Iran and Syria.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry yesterday announced that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi would not be attending the conference.

“Dialogue is not enough for Iran. Iran wants to take control over Iraq”, Shaalan said in response to a question on whether Iraq would be willing to discuss security concerns with Iran after the conference.

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