NATO hopes for more talks with Iran

NATO expects to hold further talks with Iran about cooperating in the war in Afghanistan after the first high-level meeting between the two in 30 years, a spokesman said Friday. The talks came after NATO's secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer urged the US and other members of the Western military alliance to engage with the Shiite nation to combat Taliban militants in Afghanistan. On March 9, NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Martin Erdmann and Iran's ambassador to the European Union, Ali-Asghar Khaji, held the first meeting between the two sides since the Iranian revolution three decades ago. "The Iranians have problems with drugs and refugees flowing out of Afghanistan (and) so do we," said NATO spokesman James Appathurai. "There is certainly a common interest there." "This is another good step in engaging Iran in the international community's effort (in Afghanistan)," he said. "I'm sure there will be follow-up meetings."