Iraq's foreign minister on Wednesday said security talks between Iran and the United states have been indefinitely postponed due to an "exchange of accusations" between the sides. Tehran on Monday called off further Iraq security talks with Washington until U.S. forces stop their crackdown on Shiite militias.
"It is impossible to hold a new round (of talks) because of exchange of accusations between the two sides," Hoshyar Zebari told a news conference in Baghdad. "The negotiations are postponed indefinitely because of tense atmosphere."
According to the AP, Zebari stressed that "resuming dialogue" between Iraq, Iran and the United States was crucial. "We had three important rounds but they yielded no fast results," said Zebari, adding that Iraq's efforts to hold the next round of talks have failed.
The clashes in Baghdad's Sadr City district erupted after an Iraqi government crackdown on armed Shiite groups began in late March. The U.S. army on Wednesday said four rockets fired by Shiite activists from Sadr City landed in residential areas in downtown Baghdad and wounded seven Iraqis Tuesday evening. An attack aircraft responded on Tuesday evening, killing one militant, the military said.
Iraqi health officials said Wednesday that the clashes between U.S.-led forces and Shiite gunmen left at least 28 people wounded in Sadr City.
The U.S. military also on Wednesday said four militants and two U.S.-allied Sunni fighters were killed in northwest Baghdad when the Sunni guards responded to an attack Tuesday evening on a checkpoint, killing three attackers. Two Sunni guards later died in a hospital, it added.
In southern Iraq, gunmen killed an Iraqi army officer in a drive-by-shooting in the Shiite city of Kut, police said.