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Zalmay Khalilzad (file photo) (epa)
30 November 2005 -- Iran today denied reports that it will negotiate with the United States to help secure Iraq after U.S. troops start leaving.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said, "Negotiating with America is not on our agenda or program."
This week, "Newsweek" magazine reported that President George W. Bush had authorized U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to meet Iranian officials to help secure Iraq after the Pentagon starts withdrawing troops.
The U.S. administration has confirmed it is willing to talk to Iran but that the discussions would be limited to Iraq.
Shortly after assuming his post as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad laid out his vision for that country in a major policy address. His plan called for a national compact enshrined in the constitution; the isolation and defeat of terrorists and hardcore Ba'athists and encouraging the region's leaders to address problems in a cooperative spirit and to pressure those who continue to foment instability....(more)