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Iran Agrees To New Talks With US On Iraq Security


Iran Agrees to New Talks With US on Improving Iraq's Security

Iran has agreed to hold a new round of talks with the United States on improving the security situation in Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday the U.S. government requested the talks through the Swiss embassy in Tehran. Switzerland looks after U.S. interests in Iran, in the absence of a U.S. mission there.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, have met two times in Baghdad this year to discuss Iraq's security situation. Their meetings broke a 27-year freeze in diplomatic ties, but did not appear to make much progress - each side blamed the other for Iraq's violence.

In recent weeks, U.S. military officials have said Iran appears to be restricting the flow of weapons across its border into Iraq. Tehran denies U.S. accusations that it arms and trains Iraqi Shi'ite militants.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military released nine Iranians held in Iraq on suspicion of aiding insurgents. The military has said 11 other Iranians remain in U.S. custody.

The U.S. has not yet confirmed Iran's announcement of new talks about Iraq. The previous meetings between the two sides have not covered other contentious issues such as the Iranian nuclear dispute.

ENDS

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