Reuters: Iran has no plans to set preconditions for any further talks with the United States to discuss Iraq, a senior Iranian official was quoted on Friday as saying. TEHRAN, June 22 (Reuters) – Iran has no plans to set preconditions for any further talks with the United States to discuss Iraq, a senior Iranian official was quoted on Friday as saying.
Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, also said the Islamic Republic was still reviewing the first round of talks in May, the most high profile meeting of the two sides in almost three decades.
Washington accuses Iran of stoking violence in Iraq and, since January, U.S. forces have held five Iranians accused of backing militants. Iran dismisses the charges and has demanded the immediate release of the five men who it says are diplomats.
“We don’t intend to set any preconditions for future negotiations,” Larijani was quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying. He did not indicate if Iran had agreed to a further round of discussions yet.
“We are still carefully evaluating the first round of talks with America,” he said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday that Iran could take more than two weeks to study an Iraqi request for a fresh round of talks.
Both sides described as positive the first round of discussions in Baghdad in May. Those talks covered security in Iraq and both U.S. and Iranian officials say Iraqi issues, not other disputes, will be the focus for any further talks.
The two sides are also at loggerheads over Iran’s nuclear programme. Washington says Tehran’s atomic plans are aimed at building bombs, a charge Iran denies.