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Iran, U.S. have common interests in the Middle East

  |   Jan. 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The United States and Iran, enemies since the 1979 revolution, now find they have common ground in the Middle East, the New York Times says.

Both are concerned with movements linked to al-Qaida in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, the newspaper reported Monday. Both have acknowledged their common interests.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested Iran, which supports the regime of President Bashar Assad, might participate in a conference on resolving the Syrian crisis. The next day, Iran offered to work with the United States on aid to the Iraqi government.

"It is clear we are increasingly reaching common ground with the Americans," Aziz Shahmohammadi, a former adviser to Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said. "No country should have an eternal enemy, neither we nor the United States."

Hassan Rouhani, the new president, has a reputation as a reformer. But critics say Iran's gestures towards the United States could be a deceptive move while the country establishes itself as the new power in the Middle East.

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