U.S., Iran reach Iraq policy consensus By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 20 minutes ago
The United States ambassador in Baghdad said he and his Iranian counterpart agreed broadly on policy toward Iraq during four-hour groundbreaking talks on Monday, but insisted that Iran end its support for militants.
During a meeting that U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker described as businesslike and focused solely on Iraq, the American said Iran proposed setting up a "trilateral security mechanism" that would include the U.S., Iraq and Iran. Crocker said the proposal would need study in Washington.
The U.S. envoy also said he told the Iranians their country needed to stop arming, funding and training the militants. The Iranians laid out their policy toward Iraq, Crocker said, describing it as "very similar to our own policy and what the Iraqi government have set out as their own guiding principles."
He added: "This is about actions not just principles, and I laid out to the Iranians direct, specific concerns about their behavior in Iraq and their support for militias that are fighting Iraqi and coalition forces."
The Baghdad talks were the first of their kind and a small sign that Washington thinks rapprochement with Iran is possible after more than a quarter-century of diplomatic estrangement that began with the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Crocker said the Iranians wanted to propose a second session.
"We will consider that when we receive it," Crocker told reporters in the U.S.-controlled Green Zone. "The purpose of this meeting was not to arrange other meetings."