News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqU.S. says ready to resume talks with Iran on...

U.S. says ready to resume talks with Iran on Iraq


Reuters: The United States is ready to resume talks with Iran on improving security in Iraq, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, but he accused Tehran of arming and training radical Iraqi Shi’ite fighters. By Francois Murphy

PARIS (Reuters) – The United States is ready to resume talks with Iran on improving security in Iraq, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, but he accused Tehran of arming and training radical Iraqi Shi’ite fighters.

Tehran on Thursday postponed what would have been a fourth round of talks, blaming “technical issues”. The move has prompted Washington to question Tehran’s commitment to dialogue.

“We see Iran’s intentions in Iraq as unchanged over the course of the last several years,” David Satterfield, the U.S. State Department’s Iraq coordinator, told reporters during a visit to Paris for meetings with French officials.

“We see an Iran intent on continuing to promote violence within Iraq, which is directly contradictory to Iran’s public pledge of support for a stable, peaceful, sovereign Iraq,” Satterfield added.

He said Iran was arming and training “the most violent, most radical elements” in the country, including fighters that had been drawn away from the Mehdi Army of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and into Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The U.S.-Iranian security talks are one of the few forums in which officials from the two bitter foes have direct contact. Diplomatic ties between Washington and Tehran have been frozen for almost three decades.

Washington has used the talks to urge Iran to stop giving weapons and training to Shi’ite militias in Iraq, including armor-piercing bombs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) that have killed hundreds of U.S. troops.

Tehran denies the charges and blames the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 for violence in its neighbor. Both sides are also embroiled in a row over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“We remain prepared, as does the Iraqi government, for such talks,” Satterfield told reporters. But he said Iran’s intentions were clearly not friendly.

“We very much believe that Iran wishes to see the forced departure of foreign forces, particularly U.S. forces, from Iraq in the most humiliating and devastating manner possible.”

Iraq said on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would visit Baghdad on March 2 for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other senior officials in what would be the first visit by a president of the Islamic Republic.

Satterfield said the improving security situation in Iraq and action by Damascus had stemmed the flow of Islamist fighters entering the country from neighboring Syria.

But he said Syria had not acted for Iraq’s sake.

“Whatever they have done has been solely for (Syrian) regime security purposes,” he said.

(Editing by Dominic Evans)

Latest news

Iran’s 2023 Budget Shrouded In Doubt

On January 22, the Majlis (parliament) approved the draft of the 2023 budget bill proposed by regime president Ebrahim...

Iran: People of Khoy Still Reeling From 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 struck northwest Iran on Saturday, killing at least three people and injuring...

Iran’s Unsolvable Air Pollution Problem

Air pollution will remain at dangerous levels and will increase for the next few days in most big cities,...

The World Must Acknowledge the Iranian People’s Right to Self-defense

Victor Hugo once said: “When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.” Throughout history, this has been the...

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect...

The implications of EU’s terrorist designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC)

The European Parliament called on January 18 for the European Union to list Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a...

Must read

Lord Clarke of Hampstead condemns Iranian president as a “butcher”

Ham & High: Life peer Lord Anthony Clarke, a...

No country will dare attack Iran – top military commander

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, May 04 – A senior...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you