Ground Prepared for Iran-US Talks over Iraq

A0214621.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- The “ground is prepared” for direct talks between Iran and the United States over the situation in war-ravaged Iraq, former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said.

Khatami also said that Iran was not intervening militarily in neighboring Iraq, despite allegations that the country was arming Shiite insurgents in the south.

Asked whether Iran was prepared to talk directly to the United States about what to do next in Iraq, Khatami stated, “Through an international activity under the auspicious supervision of the United Nations, I think the ground is prepared to do so.”

Khatami was in Britain to receive an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

He is also set to address the Royal Institute of International Affairs think-tank in London and academics at Oxford University during a three-day visit.

“I am strongly of the opinion that Iran doesn’t have any military intervention in Iraq,” he asserted.

“The security of Iraq is quite important to us, because anything that would contribute to security in Iraq or add to the violence among the Shiites and Sunnis and instability, the first one that would lose would be Iran of course.”

The former president also said that Iran was not developing nuclear weapons, as debate continues over the country’s refusal to abide by UN resolutions to stop its uranium enrichment, which it ensures is for peaceful purposes.

“There is no aim and goal to achieve any sort of nuclear weapons,” he said, but noted that atomic weapons in the region were a problem, with Israel, India and Pakistan all in the nuclear club.

“Iran does not have nuclear weapon, and does not intend to have such,” he insisted.

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