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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Us-Iran Talks - Tokyo

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UNCLAS TOKYO 002389

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - US-IRAN TALKS - TOKYO

LEAD STORIES: Most Tuesday morning pagers gave top play
to Monday's suicide of Agriculture Minister Matsuoka. The
papers also front-paged US-Iran ambassador-level talks
held at the Iraqi prime minister's office in Baghdad
Monday, the first formal talks between the two countries
since 1980.

1. "US, Iran Agree on Iraq's Stabilization, But Outlook
for Improved Ties Unclear " Tehran correspondent Ando of
the liberal Asahi wrote (5/29): "The US and Iran held
direct talks Monday in Baghdad to discuss Iraq's
stabilization. Though the Monday meeting was at the
ambassadorial level, it was the first formal US-Iran
talks since the two nations broke off diplomatic
relations in 1980 following the hostage crisis at the US
Embassy in Tehran. US and Iranian officials emerged from
the meeting with a positive reaction, with Iran
announcing that the next meeting will be held within one
month in Iraq. Nonetheless, discussion at the Monday
meeting was limited to Iraq-related issues, making it
unclear whether the talks can open the way to discussing
the Iranian nuclear standoff or improving US-Iran
relations."

2. "Iran Trying to Change Hostile US Policy" Tehran
correspondent Kudo of the top-circulation, moderate
Yomiuri reported (5/29): "Iran is sharply at odds with
the US over its nuclear program and other issues. While
under strong international pressure over the nuclear
issue, Iranian officials attended Tehran's first formal
talks with the US since the rupture of diplomatic
relations in 1980. This indicates that Iran wants to use
its influence in Iraq as leverage to have the US change
its hostile policy toward Tehran. Iran's proposal for
creating a framework involving the US, Iran, and Iraq
demonstrates that Tehran wants to use its 'Iraq card' to
set up a permanent venue for negotiations."

SCHIEFFER

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