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Talabani Backs U.S.-Iran Talks On Iraq


http://gdb.rferl.org/31D2ECDF-7745-4CA2-A602-3575A1B1BB45_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/31D2ECDF-7745-4CA2-A602-3575A1B1BB45_mw800_mh600.jpg President Jalal Talabani (file photo) (RFE/RL) March 19, 2006 -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says he supports proposed talks between Iran and the United States over ways of stabilizing Iraq.


A statement from Talabani's office quotes the president as saying the issue of such talks was raised on a visit he made to Tehran a few months ago.


This week, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, said Tehran was ready to negotiate with Washington to help stabilize Iraq.


The White House has authorized U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to speak with the Iranians on Iraq, but says the talks will not involve the crisis over Iran's disputed nuclear program.


U.S. officials, in the past, have accused Iran of meddling in Iraq to prolong the violence there. Iran has rejected this.


(Reuters, AFP)

Iraq And Iran

Iranian Shi'a protesting the Golden Mosque Bombing in Iraq on February 24

WHAT IS GOING ON? On March 8, RFE/RL's Washington office hosted a roundtable discussion on relations between Iraq and Iran. Although most analysts agree that Iran has been actively involved in Iraq since the U.S.-led military operation to oust former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, they continue to debate the nature, extent, and intent of that involvement.
The RFE/RL briefing featured WAYNE WHITE, former deputy director of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research's Office of Analysis for the Near East and South Asia, and A. WILLIAM SAMII, RFE/RL's regional analyst for Iran and editor of the "RFE/RL Iran Report."


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