Iranian FM rejects US offer of talks on Iraq

Iran's foreign minister has rejected a US offer of direct talks on Iraq, as Tehran hardened its position against international pressure to stop uranium enrichment. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Friday that Iran changed its mind about holding talks with Washington on Iraq because the Americans raised "other issues." He did not elaborate, but the sides have been sparring over Iran's nuclear program and Tehran reportedly wants to talk directly to the US on that subject as well. Mottaki got a boost from his Iraqi counterpart, who said Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear research - a stance that runs counter to US efforts to force Tehran to stop all nuclear activities amid fears it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.