News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran to hold Iraq talks with U.S. on Monday:...

Iran to hold Iraq talks with U.S. on Monday: report

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Reuters: Iran and the United States will hold a second round of talks on Monday over the issue of Iraqi security, an Iranian newspaper on Sunday quoted an unnamed official as saying. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran and the United States will hold a second round of talks on Monday over the issue of Iraqi security, an Iranian newspaper on Sunday quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Tehran and Washington held a first round of direct talks on Iraq’s stability in Baghdad on May 28. Iranian and Iraqi officials had said that a second round of talks between the two arch enemies would take place soon, without specifying a date.

“After a series of ups and downs, Iran and America’s ambassadors will hold talks about Iraq on Monday in Baghdad,” the Hamshahri newspaper said.

The May meeting was the most high-profile meeting of the two arch enemies in almost three decades. Iran and the United States cut diplomatic ties shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution.

Asked about the newspaper report, Iran’s government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said: “I cannot point out a date … Everyone will be informed when the talks start.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also said the date of second round of talks “was not clear yet”.

“Iran has accepted this request (of the Iraqi government) to resolve the Iraqi nation’s problems,” Mohammad Ali Hosseini told a weekly news conference.

The May discussions covered security in Iraq and both U.S. and Iranian officials say Iraqi issues, not other disputes, would be the focus of any further talks.

The newspaper said Iran’s tope envoy to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi will lead the Iranian delegation for the fresh round of talks with his U.S. counterpart Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

“But there may be some changes in the Iranian negotiating team,” it said without elaborating.

Washington accuses Iran of fomenting violence in Iraq, while Tehran blames the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 for sparking bloodshed that threatens to tear the country apart.

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