Iranian Team in Iraq for Security Talks with US

A02510724.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- An Iranian delegation arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday for a new round of talks with US officials on security in Iraq on the following day.

Easing a diplomatic freeze between Washington and Tehran lasting almost three decades, Iranian, US and Iraqi officials held three rounds of talks in Baghdad last year on ways to help end violence in Iraq.

A meeting scheduled for last month was postponed by Iran for technical reasons.

“Based on the prediction of the Iraqi government the fourth round of … talks about Iraq’s security … is supposed to take place on Thursday,” Reza Amiri-Moghadam, head of the Iranian delegation, was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches a great deal of value to the provision of security in Iraq and will do its best in order to achieve this goal,” he said after arriving in the Iraqi capital.

The US-Iranian talks on Iraq are one of the few forums in which officials from the two arch-foes have direct contact.

Diplomatic ties between the two countries, now embroiled in a deepening standoff over Tehran’s nuclear progress, have been frozen for almost three decades.

Tehran blames the US military presence for violence and unrests in Iraq and says it wants a stable and secure neighbor.

The ISNA report came two days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned from an official visit to Baghdad, a trip analysts said was aimed at showing Tehran has close ties with the Iraqi government despite the US allegations.

It was the first trip to Baghdad by a president of the Islamic Republic.

ISNA said the security talks would be held at the level of experts.

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