Iran has postponed a fourth round of talks with the United States in Baghdad on improving security in Iraq, giving no reason for the delay, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Thursday.
Zebari -- who announced during a trip to Moscow this week the talks would take place within days -- said they were to have been held on Friday, but were put off at the last minute. He called the Iranian postponement "unfortunate."
A U.S. embassy official said it increasingly appeared that Tehran did not want to hold the dialogue. Iranian officials were not immediately available to comment.
Iraq later said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would visit Baghdad on March 2 for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other senior officials in what would be the first visit by a president of the Islamic Republic.
The U.S.-Iranian security talks are one of the few forums in which officials from the two bitter foes have direct contact. Diplomatic ties between Washington and Tehran have been frozen for almost three decades.
"Yesterday we were informed that the Iranians want to postpone this for some time, for some unknown reason," Zebari told Reuters in an interview when asked about the joint talks.
"This is the fourth time that we agreed on a date and they don't show up."
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