Iran says U.S. Middle East policies failed

By Xinhua

Tehran : Iran said on Sunday that the U.S. Middle East policies have failed as the United States has fallen in a quagmire in the region, especially in Iraq, the state-run Arabic-language Alalam satellite television reported.

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    "The United States has applied the worst possible policies in the Middle East over the past six years, which showed frequent failure, one after another in the region," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Alalam.

    The United States has fallen in a quagmire in the Middle East, which is unprecedented over the last fifty years, he said.

    The Iranian foreign minister also slammed the United States for "attacking on the Iranian consulate and arresting five Iranian diplomats" in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil in January.

    The U.S. move "is in contravention of all international conventions and treaties," Mottaki said. "Iran has followed this issue at various levels and so let the world's public opinion know that Americans did not commit to any law in Iraq."

    U.S. forces arrested the five Iranians in January in Arbil and accused them of being members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Iran said the five were diplomats working in Iraq.

    Asked about whether Iran would hold negotiations with Washington over issues other than Iraq, Mottaki said, "Iran has already made clear its position that the subject and place of negotiation (with the United States)is Iraq and will be held only with Iraqi officials' presence."

    However, "it could include and affect other matters too," Mottaki said.

    Late last month, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi Qomi held an ice-breaking talks in Baghdad over Iraq's security.

    Crocker said in a news conference afterwards that his talks with the Iranian ambassador to Iraq was "positive" and "business-like" and both parties agreed for a stable Iraq.

    However, he also urged Iran to stop supporting Iraq's militia in the rare meeting with his Iranian counterpart, saying "a lot of the explosives and ammunition used by these groups are coming from Iran into Iraq."

    The U.S. army has frequently accused Iran of arming and training Shiite militia in Iraq, including providing materials of sophisticated armored piercing bombs.

    Iran has denied the claims and at the same time accused the U.S.-led coalition forces deployed in Iraq of being the root for the country's persistent insecurity and violence.