U.S. eyes limited talks with Iran

Oct. 29, 2003 at 8:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The United States says Iran has shown some cooperation concerning Iraq and America may open limited talks with Iran, but not full diplomatic relations.

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage told Congress contacts with the Islamic republic could be made on issues such as Iraq and drugs.

The BBC said the Wednesday announcement came after Iran moved to allay fears it is building a nuclear bomb. Low-level talks broke off earlier this year after the United States accused Iran of harboring al-Qaida members.

Armitage, appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, said: "We are prepared to engage in limited discussions with the government of Iran about areas of mutual interest, as appropriate. Resolution of this issue (the al-Qaida suspects dispute) would be an important step in United States-Iranian relations and we cannot move forward without this step."

He suggested the talks would not be one-on-one, but rather would be conducted in some kind of multilateral forum, such as the United Nations.

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