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Salehi: Iran, US already Held Direct Talks on Iraq, Afghanistan

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that Iran has already held direct talks with the US on the issues of Iraq and Afghanistan, adding the talks did not cover bilateral issue.

On the sidelines of the second International Conference on Human Rights and Cultures, Salehi told IRNA that holding such talks differs from direct negotiations on issues of mutual interest.

On bilateral talks between the two countries, Salehi said this is a political issue about which only Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can decide.

Salehi made the remarks when asked about recent statements of the Russian deputy foreign minister that Moscow backs Iran-US direct negotiations.

Tehran and Washington have been holding indirect talks on nuclear issues and within the frameworks of the Group 5+1 including the US, UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany, said Salehi.

On the latest news about nuclear discussions between Iran and the G5+1, Salehi said the two sides have yet to agree on the date and venue of the fresh talks.

Iranˈs top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton have held a telephone conversation on the issue recently.

The Iranian foreign minister hoped the nuclear talks will be held as soon as possible, stressing Iran has been always ready to discuss the issue with the other side.

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