U.S. Secretary of State Rice in Sydney on March 16 (epa)
March 17, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she believes talks with Iran on the issue of Iraq would be "useful."
The possibility of talks was brought up on March 16 by Tehran, in response to what it said was United States' longstanding desire for discussions.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said on March 17 that Tehran's decision to enter talks with Washington over Iraq is based on its "constant willingness" to help Iraq.
Rice, who is currently visiting Australia, stressed that the talks would not be expanded to include Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
The White House said on March 16 that U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad has been authorized to speak to the Iranians.