( LatWp) - Iranian officials Wednesday signaled their willingness to participate in talks hosted by Iraq on the future of the war-torn nation, discussions that U.S. officials this week said they would attend.
Chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki has received an invitation from the Iraqi foreign minister to participate in next month's talks. Syria, which also has been the target of a U.S. isolation policy in the region, has been invited to join the conference.
Iran has long insisted that only a regional solution involving all of Iraq's neighbors, combined with the withdrawal of foreign forces, could end the violence in Iraq. ``If we find the conference in favor of the Iraqi nation, we will take part in it,'' Larijani told reporters.
Larijani said he thought attending talks in which the U.S. is involved would prove fruitful, even if they do not lead to a comprehensive dialogue with the U.S. or progress on negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.
The meeting is scheduled for March 10, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.
Abdul-Karim Anzi, Iraq's former minister of national security and a member of parliament from the Dawa Party, lauded the role of Iran in the security and stability of Iraq.
``We have no shred of evidence of any Iranian role in interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs,'' he said, in an apparent reference to U.S. claims that Iranian-made weapons have been used to kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq.