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Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqawi denied on Wednesday comments
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqawi denied on Wednesday comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that talks were held between the two countries at a conference in The Hague.

Qashqawi said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh had called Clinton's announcement "a lie."

During a press conference at Tuesday's international conference devoted to the restoration of Afghanistan's economy, Clinton said the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, had a chat on the sidelines of the gathering with Akhoundzadeh.

"In the course of the conference today our special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrook, had a brief and cordial exchange with the head of the Iranian delegation," Clinton told reporters on Tuesday.

"It was cordial, unplanned and they agreed to stay in touch," she added.

Iran's Foreign Ministry also denied there were any direct discussions between the U.S. and Iranian delegations at the conference.

"There were no official or unofficial talks between Iranian and U.S. delegates during the Hague conference on Afghanistan," read an official statement released on Wednesday by Iran's Foreign Ministry.

"As talks between Iran and the U.S. were not on the agenda, there has certainly been no negotiation with the American envoy," the statement said.

During his election campaign, U.S. President Barack Obama said he was open to talks with the Iranian leadership, and international meetings such as Tuesday's in The Hague and one last week in Moscow, have been closely watched for signs of a more open policy between the two countries.


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