By Roula Khalaf and Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran
Published: September 30 2007 19:05
Iran is ready to help the US stabilise Iraq if Washington presents a timetable for a withdrawal of its troops, Tehran’s top security official said on Sunday.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Ali Larijani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, which answers to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, rejected Washington’s accusations that Tehran is providing weapons to Iraqi militias, insisting the trouble with Iraq was that the US administration was pursuing a “dead-end strategy”.
Mr Larijani maintained it was time world powers realised Iran’s nuclear progress could not be reversed and that they should enter into negotiations with Tehran without preconditions.
Pledging to continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, he made clear, however, that Iran would not suspend its uranium enrichment programme – a key Security Council demand. But he said he was open to “ideas being put on the table” in forthcoming talks with Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief, to resolve the nuclear stand-off.
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