News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqUS skeptical of Iran offer on Iraq talks

US skeptical of Iran offer on Iraq talks

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Reuters: White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley expressed skepticism on Friday about Iran’s offer to talk to the United States about Iraq, saying it may be an attempt to divert pressure over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley expressed skepticism on Friday about Iran’s offer to talk to the United States about Iraq, saying it may be an attempt to divert pressure over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Hadley told a group of reporters his concern is that the Iran offer is “simply a device by the Iranians to divert pressure that they are feeling in New York,” where the U.N. Security Council is taking up international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran had initially rejected an offer from Washington, its longtime foe, for talks about its neighbor Iraq. But Tehran shifted course on Thursday and said it was willing to open a dialogue with the United States on Iraq.

Hadley said the United States was still prepared to hold talks with Iran but that they would be limited to U.S. concerns that Iran is stirring up trouble in Iraq, such as by providing components for homemade bombs used against Iraqi and American targets.

The United States ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, would be the U.S. representative for any such talks.

Hadley said by expressing a willingness to open a dialogue with Washington, Iran appeared to be “trying to drive a wedge between the United States” and its allies at a time when the international community is trying to stay united in a drive to force Iran to give up its nuclear program.

Washington and its allies will not let this happen, he said.

Western countries believe Tehran’s nuclear program is a cover for developing nuclear weapons, but Iran says it is developing nuclear energy.

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