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U.S. And Iran Meet About Iraq

The U.S. and Iranian ambassadors to Iraq met with Iraqi representatives in Baghdad to discuss security in Iraq. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said that both the United States and Iran acknowledged the need to support "a stable, secure, democratic, federal Iraq that is able to control its borders, is at peace with its neighbors and is bringing prosperity to its citizens":

"We also made it clear from the American point of view that this is about actions, not just principles. I laid out before the Iranians a number of our direct, specific concerns about their behavior in Iraq."

That behavior, said Ambassador Crocker, includes "support of armed militant groups that are attacking our soldiers, Iraqi security forces, and innocent civilians." Mr. Crocker said he made it clear in the meeting that the United States is "aware that Iran is supplying such groups with arms and ammunition and explosives, including explosively formed projectiles. . . .that the Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force is the lead instrument in pursuing this policy, and that they [the Iranians] need to stop this behavior."

Ambassador Crocker said the Iranian delegation "made no detailed response" to the concerns the U.S. raised. But he said he was "somewhat encouraged that they took the opportunity to lay out their policy in positive terms."

It is now up to the Iranians, said Ambassador Crocker, "whether they choose to align their behavior on the ground with their stated policy, because right now it isn't."