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Iran rules out fresh talks on Iraq with US

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said there was no need for fresh talks with the United States on Iraq because of improved security in the country.

world Updated: Feb 12, 2009 08:50 IST

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday there was no need for fresh talks with the United States on Iraq because of improved security in the country.

"We think the situation is completely different now," Mottaki told a press conference during a visit to Baghdad.

"We think the improvement in security conditions is the result of the will of Iraq's government and the fact that it has taken up its responsibilities," he said after talks with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.

"We are happy to say that the (Iraqi) government is quite capable of making the country completely safe," Mottaki said, asked to comment on offers by US President Barack Obama's administration to hold talks with Iran.

"Based on this, there is no place for such talks under the current circumstances," he said. "The Iraqi government is capable of providing security."

The United States and arch-foe Iran have held three rounds of direct talks since May 2007 on security issues affecting Iraq.

The United States has in the past frequently accused Shiite Iran of fomenting sectarian violence in neighbouring Shiite-dominated Iraq. Tehran has vehemently denied the charges, saying it is seeking stability in Iraq.