FM Calls on US to Formally Ask for Talks with Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran would decide if it should attend talks with Washington once it is officially in receipt of a relevant request by the US. Speaking during a joint press conference with his Chadian counterpart Ahmad Allam-mi here in Tehran on Monday, Mottaki pointed out that Iran has already received informal proposals through different channels for attending talks with the US, and said, “We are studying these proposals, but we will adopt a decision in this regard when the US administration raises such a demand formally.”

He pointed to Baghdad Security Talks to be attended by deputy foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighboring countries and the five UN Security Council member states, and said, “This meeting should not make decisions for Iraq.”

“Meantime, the structure and framework of the meeting which is held under the title of Iraq’s neighbors should not be impaired,” he continued.

Mottaki said that Tehran is finalizing its view about the attendance of deputy Iranian foreign minister in the said conference.

Regarding his country’s nuclear issue, he pointed to the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors today, and stressed, “We expect the IAEA to defend the view that the case should be studied there (at the Agency).”

Asked about the recent incidents in Zahedan, southeastern Iran, the top diplomat said that Tehran has a clear offer for the Pakistani government, adding, “The Pakistani government should eradicate the terrorists in that region through proper operations, or deal with the issue jointly with Iran, for which the Islamic Republic is fully prepared, or lay the required groundwork for Iran to arrest these terrorist agents in specific regions in accordance with the precise information that our country has in this regard.”

Elsewhere, he spoke of the fate of the five Iranian mission staffers kidnapped during a raid by the US forces on Iran’s consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, and claimed the US responsible for their fate, while he also took the Iraqi government responsible for the release of the Iranian diplomats.

“These set a clear body of evidence that Americans do not possess the needed honesty for establishing security in Iraq and protecting the people of that country,” the Iranian foreign minister underscored.

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