Baghdad readies for Iranian nuclear talks

April 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM
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TEHRAN, April 23 (UPI) -- The Iraqi foreign minister said he met with European leaders to lay the ground work for the next round of nuclear talks with the Iranian government.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said he discussed with visiting European officials the technical arrangements for nuclear talks scheduled for next month with the Iranians, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reports.

Multilateral talks in Turkey over Iran's nuclear ambitions were said to be productive. Tehran said another round of negotiations was scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad.

Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon, an allegation the Iranian government denies.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, that if both countries were "powerful and esteemed," there would be no place for the United States or Israel among world leaders.

Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majed al-Sheik told Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV that Maliki's visit was "of special significance" given May nuclear talks in Baghdad.

Maliki arrived in Tehran last weekend, his first such visit since re-election in 2010.

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