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Iraq Says U.S., Iranian Envoys To Meet Again

Ambassadors Crocker (right) and Kazemi-Qomi met on May 28 in Baghdad (AFP) July 23, 2007 -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says Iran and the United States will hold a second round of talks on Iraq's security on July 24.

Zebari said the ambassadors to Iraq from both countries will lead the talks in Baghdad.

The meeting was confirmed today by Iran.

The two envoys, Ryan Crocker and Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, had a first round of talks in May, the highest-level meeting since
1980, when the United States and Tehran severed diplomatic relations
after Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran,
keeping its diplomatic staff hostage for 444 days.

The United States has long shunned direct
contact with Iran, which it accuses of sponsoring terrorism and seeking
to secretly develop nuclear weapons. But in the face of major problems
in Iraq, Washington is searching for ways to stabilize the country,
where Tehran has emerged as a major player since the 2003 U.S.-led

(Reuters, AFP)

Tehran Remains Suspicious
Despite a willingness to talk, Iranian officials remain wary of U.S. motives. more
Former U.S. Official Pessimistic
Richard Perle sees little use in talking to the current Iranian regime. more

U.S.-Iranian Talks In Baghdad

U.S.-Iranian Talks In Baghdad

Some perspectives on the U.S.-Iranian talks of May 28, 2007, as expressed to Radio Farda.

Mehrdad Khansari, a former Iranian diplomat and analyst who is based in London: "Today the talks with the U.S. have begun but that does not mean that the talks will have reached a result. The Iranian and U.S. governments need to [tell] their audiences that they are not abstaining from talking to each other."

Tehran-based journalist Mashaollah Shamsolvaezin (pictured above): "There is a necessity that has forced the two countries to accept a series of new issues; these new issues are the talks that are going to begin between the two sides and I am hopeful about its future. The U.S. is facing serious [problems] regarding the situation in Iraq, from the other side is Iran facing some threats in the Middle East that come from insecurity in Iraq and also insecurity in Afghanistan. The seriousness of talks depend on the will of both sides and it seems that both sides are determined to seriously deal with issues, therefore I see a positive perspective for the Iran/U.S.talks."

Ted Galen Carpenter, a U.S. foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington (pictured above), says he believes the talks can help: "The United States is in a difficult position right now in that the current U.S policy in Iraq simply has not worked at all; and I think we are beginning to cast about for some alternatives and Iran can be at least modestly hopeful in that regard as long as we recognize that Iranian influence in Iraq is going to be inevitably much, much stronger than it was before."

Richard Perle, a former Pentagon official (pictured above) who lobbied forcefully for a U.S. invasion of Iraq: "I don't believe [talking to Iran will] help because I don't believe there is any interest on the part of the mullahs in Tehran in changing the behavior of the government of Iran, which has been -- and I think will continue to be -- to encourage violence and disorder in Iraq."