Iran’s Deputy FM Dismisses Financial Times Report

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said his statements about Iran’s readiness to cooperate with the US for withdrawing its troops from Iraq are the result of a wrong quotation by Financial Times. Financial Times in a recent report quoted the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs as saying that Iran is prepared to cooperate with the US in devising a strategy for the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq,

“I have been quoted incorrectly and imprecisely,” Araghchi told reporters here on Wednesday.

“I said that occupation is the root cause of Iraq’s problems and that there is not any solution to the problem unless occupation comes to an end,” he continued.

Araghchi further said that Americans should have a plan and strategy for ending their occupation of Iraq, adding, “And if they practice good intention in (devising and exercising) this strategy, then it could turn into a successful strategy.”

Asked about any likely cooperation between Iran and the US, he said, “We cooperate with the Iraqi government and we do whatever is needed for the reinvigoration and success of this government.”

Elsewhere, the official pointed to an upcoming meeting between the family members and the five Iranian diplomats kidnapped during a raid by the US troops on Iran’s consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil months ago, and said that the International Red Cross (IRC) is now working on the meeting.

He expressed the hope that the efforts made by the Iraqi officials to set the five diplomats free would yield desirable results.

In response to questions about his talks with US diplomats on the sidelines of Iraq security conference in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Araghchi said, “When at an intentional conference, people sit around one single table such marginal talks are considered normal.”

“There were some short and normal talks about the agenda of the conference,” he continued.

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