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Iran has no plans to discuss Iraq security with U.S. - minister

15:22 14/11/2006

TEHRAN, November 14 (RIA Novosti) - Tehran said Tuesday it remains undecided on whether to hold talks on Iraq's worsening security situation with Washington, which may seek Iranian assistance to stop a resurgence of sectarian violence in the country.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has not made any serious decisions as to negotiations with the U.S. [on Iraq]," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said.

In March this year, Tehran expressed its willingness to hold such talks, in response to a request from Iraqi authorities, but changed its mind after Washington took a tougher line on its nuclear program.

Mottaki's remarks came following a statement by ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini, who told reporters that Iran would consider holding such talks if the U.S. approached it with a formal request.

"Considering and accepting [a proposal] are two different things," Mottaki said.

The George W. Bush administration came under increased pressure to improve post-invasion Iraq's security situation after the Democrats gained control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in last week's mid-term elections.

The newly-formed Iraq Study Group, commissioned by President Bush to review policy in Iraq, is looking into the possibility of engaging with Iran and Syria to calm the continuing turmoil in the country.

On the other hand, Washington is pushing for tough international sanctions against Iran for its refusal to halt nuclear enrichment activities.

The U.S. and other Western countries suspect Iran of pursuing a covert program to develop a nuclear bomb, but Iran insists it only wants nuclear-generated electricity.

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RIA NovostiIran has no plans to discuss Iraq security with U.S. - minister

15:22 14/11/2006 Tehran said Tuesday it remains undecided on whether to hold talks on Iraq's worsening security situation with Washington, which may seek Iranian assistance to stop a resurgence of sectarian violence in the country. >>

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