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US ready for new direct talks with Iran on Iraq
State Dept. spokesman: Iran needs to stop supporting sectarian militias that are exacerbating sectarian tensions in Iraq.
The United States is ready to hold new direct talks with Iran on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, where the Bush administration accused Tehran of supporting Shia insurgents there, the State Department said Tuesday. "We think that given the situation in Iraq and given Iran's continued behavior that is leading to further instability in Iraq, that it would be appropriate to have another face-to-face meeting to directly convey to the Iranian authorities that if they wish to see a more stable, secure, peaceful Iraq, which is what they have said they would like to see, that they need to change their behavior," spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. "They need to stop supporting sectarian militias that are exacerbating sectarian tensions, they need to stop supporting EFP networks that pose a threat to our troops," he said, referring to Explosively Formed Penetrators, devices crafted to penetrate armored vehicles. McCormack said no date for the talks, which would be held in Baghdad, had yet been arranged.
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