Iran Team Leaves Iraq without US Talks

A0297667.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- An Iranian delegation left Baghdad for home yesterday without holding talks with officials from arch foe the US on the security situation in Iraq.

“The delegation has left Baghdad because the Americans refused to conduct any negotiations,” the official close to Tehran’s negotiators said.

Delegation head Reza Amiri Moghaddam had earlier said a new round of talks would be held yesterday in Baghdad.

US embassy spokesman Philip Reeker said there were “no trilateral talks today

The request for the talks had been made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The talks were scheduled to have been held last month but were postponed for what the Iranian foreign ministry said were technical reasons.

This last round of talks which was supposed to be held on Thursday followed a landmark visit to Iraq earlier this week by iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the first by an Iranian president to the country.

Some political observers believe that Washington’s absence from the Thursday talks was aimed at reciprocating cancellation of the last month talks by Iran.

Iran and the United States held three rounds of talks about Iraq last year despite tensions over the Iranian nuclear program. The two foes have had no diplomatic relations since 1980.

The fact that such talks took place at all, given the acrimonious history between the two, was hailed by most analysts as a landmark event.

US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi Qomi held face-to-face talks on May 28 and July 24, the highest level public contacts between the two sides for 27 years.

Both sides also met at experts’ level on August 6, but there has been no other meeting since then.

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