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Iran Rules Out Direct Contact With U.S. Over Iraq

(RFE/RL) 20 October 2005 -- Iran said today it will not engage in direct contact with the United States to discuss Iraq.

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mentioned the United States could seek direct contact with the Iranian government to discuss concerns insurgents are crossing into Iraq from Iran and that Iran was supporting Shi'ite groups in Iraq.

Iran's ISNA news agency cites Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi as saying Rice's suggestion of talks
conflicted with the hostile U.S. attitude toward Iran. Assefi said if the U.S. wants direct talks with Iran, Washington would have to change its stance towards Iran.