The United States insists ambassador-level talks with Iran in Baghdad on Tuesday will focus solely on the situation in Iraq despite rising tensions over American-Iranians detained by Teheran.
"This is an opportunity for direct engagement on issues solely related to Iraq," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington Monday. "We are going to raise the need for Iran to match its actions with its words in seeking strategic stability in Iraq."
McCormack said Iran has not taken any steps to help bring about a stable Iraq, a goal he said Iran professes to share with the United States. "We'll see, if, as a result of these engagements, they will change their behavior."
The first round of Iran-US talks, May 28 in Baghdad, marked a break in a 27-year diplomatic freeze opened after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and US Embassy takeover in Teheran.