Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that the United States lacks the required level of honesty to establish security in Iraq or support that country’s government and people.
Hope that the US officials would end illegal detention of the Iranian diplomats as soon as possible.
“The US is responsible for the detention and fate of these individuals and the Iraqi government is responsible for their release,” Mottaki underlined.
He also said that the detention of the five Iranian mission staffers in Erbil and another Iranian diplomat in Baghdad casts deep doubts over United States’ intentions for restoring security in Iraq.
“These and similar other cases set a clear body of evidence that Americans do not have the required honesty for establishing security in Iraq or supporting the government and people of that country,” Mottaki reiterated.
He further reminded, “We observe the performance and not the statements of the Americans in Iraq. If all the relevant parties do not seriously seek establishment of security through revising their policies, grave problems will arise in Iraq, which will be detrimental to all.”
Asked about the fate of the former deputy defense minister – under Khatami’s administration – whose conditions are unknown after he suddenly disappeared in the midst of a trip to Turkey, the foreign minister said that his ministry is pursuing the case both in Tehran and Ankara, adding that a delegation headed by the foreign ministry’s director general for consulate affairs has been dispatched to Turkey to be informed of the latest conditions of Mr. Asgari, who is now a retired defense ministry employee.
Elsewhere, 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.
He 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.”