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Iran: U.S. must first issue request for talks to take place on Iraq

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 05 – Iran said on Monday that the United States must first issue an official request for any further talks to be held between the two sides on the fate of Iraq. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 05 – Iran said on Monday that the United States must first issue an official request for any further talks to be held between the two sides on the fate of Iraq.

“If the Iraqi side insists, and the U.S. issues an official request via diplomatic channels, we will consider this request”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini told reporters. His remarks were carried by the state-run news agency Fars.

Seperately, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi told the government-owned news agency ISNA on Sunday that no request had been made for Iran to enter further talks with the U.S.

“Until now, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not received any official request from the Iraqi government for negotiations to go ahead”, Kazemi-Qomi said. “If such a request is made, Iran will as previous ocassions consider it”.

U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said on Saturday he expected to meet his Iranian counterparts most likely in the next few weeks, the news agency Reuters reported.

“The (Iran-U.S.) channel is not dead,” Crocker told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on Iraq in Istanbul. “We would expect we would have another round in the not too distant future”.

Crocker said he expected the meeting with his Iranian counterpart, his fourth meeting this year, would take place in the next few weeks but he provided no exact date.

Kazemi-Qomi is a veteran officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and was once the IRGC’s liaison to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In October, the U.S. State Department designated the Qods Force as a “supporter of terrorism” under Executive Order 13224.

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