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Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo) (epa)
November 14, 2006 -- President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has suggested that Iran would be prepared to talk directly to the United States if it "correct[ed] its behavior."
Speaking at a news conference in Tehran, Ahmadinejad did not define the scope of any possible talks with the United States, nor did he say that Iraq or the nuclear dispute would be on the agenda of such discussions.
Ahmadinejad said the only country Iran will not talk to is Israel, repeating his frequent claim that the Israeli state lacks legitimacy.
Syria has also said it is ready to talk with the United States about ways to stabilize Iraq. The Syrian government daily "Tishreen" said today that Damascus was waiting to see whether Washington would open the way for talks.
The comments come as a U.S. bipartisan panel, the Iraq Study Group, is reviewing policy on Iraq, with some of its members reportedly favoring engagement with Syria and Iran.
The United States broke off diplomatic ties with Iran when militant students took dozens of Americans prisoner, with the backing of Iran's ascendant theocracy, following the 1978-79 Islamic revolution.