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Sun 13 May 2007 03:00 PM

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Iran to hold direct talks with U.S.

Next week's talks will be aimed at establishing security in Iraq.

Iran and the United States will hold talks next week aimed at establishing security in Iraq, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Sunday.

"With the aim of easing the pain of the Iraqi people, supporting the Iraqi government and strengthening security in Iraq ... Iran will talk with the American side in Baghdad," IRNA quoted Mohammad Ali Hosseini as saying.

Hosseini's office, contacted by Reuters, confirmed his comments.

The United States accuses Shi'ite Iran of supplying weapons and training to Shi'ite militias in Iraq, a charge Tehran denies.

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