Monday, April 24, 2006

Ahmadinejad says no need for Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq

Iran Focus:
Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ruled out on Monday direct talks between the Islamic Republic and the United States over Iraq.

Right now, we think that with the presence of a permanent government in Iraq there is no longer any need, Ahmadinejad said in reply to a question on whether Tehran would seek to hold talks with U.S. officials in Iraq. READ MORE

Ahmadinejad added that Iran had no trust in the United States government.

U.S. President George W. Bush had previously authorised American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, to hold talks with Iranian officials over the security situation in Iraq.

The Iranian president demanded that U.S.-led forces in Iraq “step aside” and allow the Iraqi people to govern themselves.

Last week, Iran upgraded the post of its representative in Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, from charge d'affaires to ambassador.

Kazemi Qomi was reportedly a senior figure in the elite Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).