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