Iran will hold Iraq talks with United States despite nuclear standoff, foreign minister declares

Iran will hold talks with the United States over the future of Iraq despite a U.N. Security Council demand to halt Tehran 's uranium enrichment program, Iran 's foreign minister said Thursday.

Manouchehr Mottaki said any talks with Washington , however, would not extend beyond the question of Iraq .

"We look on this proposal, if you will, as an opportunity to help the Iraqi nation," he told reporters in Geneva . "These negotiations will be limited only to Iraq ."

When addressing the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament earlier Thursday, Mottaki blasted the United States , saying it had caused "the most heinous crimes" by using nuclear weapons.

But when asked about possible talks with the United States , he said Iran supported measures to strengthen democracy in Iraq , even if Tehran had "misgivings" over the U.S. role in the region. He said the time and location of the talks, as well as who would negotiate, had yet to be finalized.

Mottaki, who also condemned "unjustified propaganda" about his country's nuclear program, said Iran was not responsible for the standoff.

"Those who have actually used nuclear weapons in the past, and by doing so have created the most heinous crimes in the history of the human race, today are claiming to be the champions of disarmament," he said.

Referring to documented abuses at U.S. detention facilities and allegations of secret CIA prisons, Mottaki said the U.S. position over Iran 's atomic energy program was just one more example of Washington 's hypocrisy and double standards.

"The most important issue right now is the contradiction in the words used by certain parties and their deeds," he said. "We have all seen what has taken place in places like Abu Ghraib prison or Guantanamo prison", reports the AP.


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