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Iran Rules Out Direct Contact With U.S. Over Iraq

20 October 2005 -- Iran said today it will not engage in direct contact with the United States to discuss Iraq.

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mentioned the United States could seek direct contact with the Iranian government to discuss concerns insurgents are crossing into Iraq from Iran and that Iran was supporting Shi'ite groups in Iraq.

Iran's ISNA news agency cites Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi as saying Rice's suggestion of talks conflicted with the hostile U.S. attitude toward Iran. Assefi said if the U.S. wants direct talks with Iran, Washington would have to change its stance towards Iran.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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