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AFP

US, Iran "may" discuss Iraq
on margins of nuclear talks

VIENNA - US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns may discuss the Iraq crisis with Iranian officials on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna starting Monday, a senior US official said.

 

Burns, who held secret nuclear talks with Iran in 2013, "is here principally for the trilateral discussions" on the nuclear issue between Iran, the US and the EU, the official said.

 

"It may be that on the margins of the P5+1, but completely unconnected to it, there may be some conversations," the official said on condition of anonymity.

 

"This negotiation is focused solely on Iran's nuclear program."

 

The United States and Iran, who have not have diplomatic relations for 30 years, are both deeply concerned by a major insurgency in Iraq by Sunni militants who have overrun swathes of the country in the past week.

 

Also in Vienna for the nuclear talks is Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

 

Zarif was a key interlocutor between Shiite Iran and the US government after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when both sides were keen to oust the hardline Sunni Muslim Taliban in Afghanistan.

"It may be that on the margins of the P5+1, but completely unconnected to it, there may be some conversations.