Iran denies reports of 'talks' with US envoy at conference

Iran dismissed American government reports that senior US and Iran envoys had a cordial - and promising - face-to-face exchange at an international conference, saying Wednesday that no "talks" took place. The competing accounts of Tuesday's encounter in the Netherlands appeared to reflect the different approaches to overtures to end the United States' and Iran's nearly 30-year diplomat standoff. Washington has seemed eager to build on US President Barack Obama's surprise video message last month to seek engagement with Iran's ruling clerics. Iran has - in public, at least - been far cooler to making immediate contacts, but has not fully rejected some openings in the future. Iran's take on The Hague conference was just as nuanced - not flatly denying that senior US diplomat Richard Holbrooke and Iranian diplomat Mehdi Akhundzadeh met at a conference to discuss Afghanistan but concentrating on the semantics of whether official talks took place.