US and Iran delegations met today in Baghdad. The US ambassador Ryan Crocker said the talks went on for four hours, and the two sides agreed broadly on policy toward Iraq. The Iranian ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qumi said that he told the Americans that Iran was ready to train and equip the Iraqi army and police to create a new military and security structure.
Kazemi Qumi also told reporters that the next meeting between the two sides will take place in Iraq in less than one month.
Crocker described the meeting as businesslike. He said he told the Iranians they needed to stop arming, funding and training the militias in Iraq.
The two sides reported that the focus of the discussions was Iraq. The meeting was the highest-level direct official talks between the US and Iran since the countries severed diplomatic relations in 1980.
(Photo courtesy of AFP: Iraqi Premier Maleki welcoming the US and Iran delegations in his office in Baghdad before the start of the talks.)