US/ Iran Talks
Mehran Riazaty: From: Iran Analyst
Today, Iranian Students news agency reported that an informed official in Iran's Supreme National Security Council said that the Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq will be held next few days. "The negotiating team will be headed by one of Iran's Supreme National Security Deputies," said the official. "An expert from Iran's Foreign Ministry will also participate in these talks. According to previous agreements these negotiations will be held in Baghdad and the U.S. ambassador in Iraq will represent the U.S. in these sessions," he added. Meanwhile this official has noted that whether these talks are to be public or not depends on the agreement reached by both sides. Iran's ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazim Qomi has announced that one of the representatives of Iraq's government will also attend these talks. Iran persists that these negotiations should be held publicly. READ MORE
Analyst Comment: Today, the Iranian state run daily newspaper “Kayhan International” criticized the recent visits of the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to Baghdad.
By reading this article we could become familiar with mind set of the Iranian officials who are getting ready to talk to the United States.
The newspaper reported that the latest uninvited visit of Rice and Straw to Baghdad was "another blatant example of meddling by the occupiers as part of their attempts to try to derail the process of democracy and impose a puppet government against the wishes of the Iraqi people." The paper added that "Only solidarity between the different ethnic and religious groups in Iraq will enable the Iraqis to kick out the occupiers from the sacred soil of Mesopotamia." The article emphasized that Washington and London had "no right whatsoever to say who ought to be the Iraqi premier or to whom key ministerial posts be given."
The occupiers do not want to see a stable and democratic Iraq, the editorial further pointed out, and for this reason had "tampered with the results of the December 15 elections to try to reduce the seats of the United Iraqi Alliance, and are now putting hurdles in the way of formation of an independent government." Stressing that the terrorists who are currently active in Iraq have been operating "in league with the US- British occupation force," the paper urged the Iraqi people to close ranks and to make sure that sponsors of local and international terrorism do not succeed in their nefarious designs. The paper referred to the US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad as a person "who slavishly serves Washington's interests at the expense of Islam and Muslims." The Iraqi government should lodge a complaint with the UN against the stealth visits of the US and British foreign ministers as well as other senior Western leaders, who arrogantly pop up in Baghdad uninvited, suggested the daily.
On March 30, 06- Moqtada Sadr’s Spokesman, Saheb Ameri, also said “All of the Al-Qaeda’s Terrorist operations in Iraq are directed by the US Forces.”
Furthermore, today Fars News Agency reported that the Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi strongly condemned a blast near a Shiite mosque in Baghdad on Monday as a terrorist and inhuman move. He added that "Undoubtedly, continued interference of the US and Britain in Iraq and their insistence on incorrect approaches mainly account for the instability and insecurity in this country. Unfortunately, this has greatly damaged the oppressed Iraqi people. He hoped that after the process of government formation and withdrawal of the foreign troops, Iraq will achieve its peace and stability.
I strongly believe the first question that the Iranian officials will ask the US officials will be “When you withdrawal from Iraq.” In the past, the Iranian authorities have constantly said that the security in Iraq is not possible until the withdrawal of the Multinational Forces. On March 18, Fars News Agency reported that the Member of the Iran Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy commission stressed that a withdrawal of the occupying troops from Iraq is the most significant prerequisite for attending talks with the United States.
Mehran Riazaty: a former Iran analyst for the Central Command of the Coalition Forces in Baghdad.