Iran denies cooperation with US over Iraq developments
Iran Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has denied reports about intelligence and military cooperation between Iran and the US on recent developments in Iraq, pledging Tehran’s continued support for Baghdad’s anti-terrorism measures.
Speaking in her weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Marzieh Afkham said Iran will continue supporting Iraqi government’s battle against terrorism and called on the international community to “adopt universal and indiscriminate steps in the fight against extremism, violence and terrorism.”
Welcoming Baghdad’s efforts to maintain the country’s national unity, Afkham described Iraq as “a good example of the democratic process in the region.”
Iran Embassy blasts inquiry
On the recent terrorist bombings against the Islamic Republic’s Embassy in Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman reiterated that Iranian officials have conducted legal and political discussions with their Lebanese counterparts following the terror attack in an effort to identify key elements and plotters behind the blasts which led to the arrest of the mastermind of the attack.
Noting that Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has contacted his Lebanese counterpart and expressed Iran’s readiness to participate in the interrogation of the arrested individual, Afkham added that following the reported death of the detained terrorist, Iranian Justice Ministry also declared Tehran’s interest in dispatching a team of technical and judicial experts to Lebanon to take part in the process of performing an autopsy on the terrorist and identifying the causes of his death.
On the Syria unrest, the Foreign Ministry official reiterated the Islamic Republic’s position that the resolution of the crisis should be based on a political strategy that involves a “Syrian-Syrian approach.”
Responding to a question about Iran not receiving an invitation to the Geneva II Conference on Syria, she maintained that the Islamic Republic will participate in “any plan [on the Syria crisis] without any preconditions” and “will not accept any proposal that would disregard Iran’s dignity.”
Afkham further pointed to a visit to Tehran by Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad and said he will meet with Iranian foreign minister on Tuesday to discuss various issues, including the Syria crisis.
Iran nuclear talks
Pointing to Iran’s nuclear discussion with the six major powers, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman confirmed that Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi will meet on Thursday and Friday with Helga Schmid, deputy of the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to discuss outstanding issues.
Afkham added that the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action agreed between the two sides during the Geneva talks in November 2013, will begin simultaneously by both sides and its commencement date will soon be announced.
Turkish PM’s Tehran visit
Afkham also announced during her press conference that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to visit Iran next month.
Responding to questions on Iranian foreign minister’s recent visit to Turkey, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stated that the two sides focused on economic and political issues, Syria crisis and bilateral ties between the neighboring countries.
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