Iran will not necessarily have direct talks with the United States if it attends an upcoming regional conference about Iraq’s security crisis, an Iranian official said Sunday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Hosseini said Iran will announce “in the near future” whether it will attend the March 10 conference in Baghdad. Syria, the United States, Britain and France have said they will participate.
Hosseini claimed the U.S. has proposed holding direct discussions with Iran over Iraq. Iranian officials have made those claims in the past, but U.S. officials have not confirmed proposing any talks.
“Recently, the United States has proposed negotiations with Iran through different channels over the Iraq issue,” Hosseini said. “Meeting with Americans on the sidelines of the Baghdad conference is not on the agenda of Iran, for the time being.”
I think this is good news; it provides an opening to weaken the Syria-Iran alliance, which as James noted Wednesday is a worthwhile diplomatic goal.
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