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Iran Expresses Interest in Continuing Talks With US on Iraq

Iran has expressed interest in continuing talks with the United States on Iraq, begun last month in Baghdad.

Iranian media quote Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying Tehran will view a continuation of the talks positively, if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials call for them to take place.

Mottaki spoke after meeting Sunday in Tehran with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh.

Late last month, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, on the security situation in Iraq.

During the talks, the U.S. urged Iran to stop supporting militias in Iraq. Crocker said Tehran asserted that the coalition presence in Iraq was an occupation.

Tehran denies it is responsible for insurgent attacks in Iraq.

Last month's meeting marked the highest-level talks between the U.S. and Iran in almost 30 years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.