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Iran Says U.S. Must Change Policy In Iraq

Manuchehr Mottaki (file photo) (AFP) May 26, 2007 -- Iran's foreign minister says the United States must change its policies in Iraq if upcoming direct bilateral talks are to succeed.

Manuchehr Mottaki said that only if the United States admits its "wrong policies in Iraq and decides to change those could be optimistic about these talks and their future."

Mottaki said Iran is interested in holding talks with the United States "for the sake of the Iraqi people and government."

The U.S. and Iranian ambassadors in Iraq, Ryan Crocker and Hassan Kazemi, will meet on May 28 in the highest-level official talks between the two countries since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Both Iran and the United States have said that the talks will only concern Iraq, and not other contentious issues, such as Tehran's nuclear program.

The UN's nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on May 23 that Iran is defying the world body by accelerating uranium enrichment.

Iran also has raised the tension level recently by detaining people with dual Iranian and U.S. citizenship, including Radio Farda reporter Parnaz Azima and American-Iranian scholar Haleh Esfandiari.

(AFP, dpa)

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