Iran says would consider talks with US on Iraq

Updated: 2006-11-06 09:36

TEHRAN - Iran said on Sunday it would consider entering talks with the United States on security in Iraq if it received an official request.

Talks with between Washington and Tehran are expected to be one option for quelling violence in Iraq to be suggested in a report due out from the Iraq Study Group, a US bipartisan commission headed by former secretary of state James Baker.

But the idea has previously been rejected by President Bush. The United States accuses Iran of aiding the insurgency and stoking sectarian strife in Iraq, a charge Tehran denies.

Asked if Iran should talk directly to the United States about security in Iraq, Tehran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said: "If they officially ask for that, it will be reviewed by Iran.

"At the present time, some American and Iraqi officials have raised the question of a dialogue. If we receive such a request we are ready to examine it."

In March, it had looked as though talks between Iran and the United States to stem the bloodshed in Iraq could go ahead, but in April the idea was shot down by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said such negotiations were not needed.

The United States broke ties official ties with Iran after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month hinted that Washington might join talks with Tehran to resolve the Iran nuclear issue, but only if the Islamic Republic first suspended uranium enrichment, something Iran has repeatedly refused to do.

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