Iraqi official: US, Iran expert talks on security issues to be postponed

US and Iranian officials have postponed an expert-level meeting scheduled for next week to discuss security issues ahead of an expected round of formal talks on Iraq's stability, the Iraqi deputy foreign minister said Thursday. Labid Abbawi said the Foreign Ministry would coordinate with the Americans and the Iranians on a new date for the meeting of security, military and diplomatic experts, which the Iraqi foreign minister said was originally set for Dec. 18. "The problem is related to the schedules of the officials from the two countries," Abbawi said. Both sides agreed during their July talks to set up a security subcommittee to carry forward talks on restoring stability in Iraq. The subcommittee met in August for the first time in Baghdad and agreed to meet again later. Previous sessions ended inconclusively with Iran rejecting US allegations that it supports Shi'ite insurgent groups in Iraq by providing bomb-making materials responsible for the deaths of American troops.