First Published: 2007-01-19

Talabani: Iran ready to reach deal with US

Iraqi president says will continue mediation efforts to broker meetings between US, Iranian officials.


Middle East Online

Talabani: Iran and Syria have started to help the Iraqi government

DUBAI - Iran is ready to reach an understanding with the United States over issues ranging from Afghanistan to Lebanon, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in remarks published Friday.

During a visit to Tehran by Talabani last November, Iranian officials "said they are prepared to reach an understanding with America from Afghanistan to Lebanon and they are ready to talk in order to arrive at results satisfactory to both sides," he told the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.

Talabani, who met Iran's supreme leader and its president during the visit, said he was continuing efforts to broker meetings between US and Iranian officials to resolve differences over Iraq after two such attempts fell through.

Talabani, currently in Syria, said both Tehran and Damascus "have started to help the Iraqi government in a good way" to curb the sectarian violence plaguing Iraq.

The United States, whose forces are battling insurgents in Iraq, accuses both Iran and Syria of fomenting violence there. It also suspects Iran is secretly trying to build a nucler bomb, but Tehran rejects the charges.

In Lebanon, Iran and Syria back the Shiite militant movement Hezbollah, which is leading the pro-Damascus opposition seeking the ouster of the Western-backed government.


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