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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2006, 13:07 GMT
Iran 'will help US to leave Iraq'
US troops in central Baghdad
The US is contemplating a change of strategy in Iraq
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said Tehran is willing to help the US withdraw from Iraq.

But he added that Iran would only assist if the Americans changed their attitude towards Tehran.

The BBC's Frances Harrison in Tehran says Mr Mottaki did not spell out the change of attitude required.

But she adds that Iran probably wants the US to drop its insistence that it freeze its nuclear programme before any kind of talks.

She adds that other conditions may include a timetable for the US withdrawal.

The US has said Iran - and Syria - should not attach any conditions to their possible help.

Opening a dialogue with Iran and its regional ally Syria was one of the key recommendations of a bipartisan panel set up to review US policy in Iraq after three-and-a-half years of conflict.

The Iraq Study Group (ISG), co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker, issued its report earlier this week.

'Realistic picture'

Speaking in Bahrain, Mr Mottaki said the key issue in solving the problems in Iraq was the withdrawal of foreign forces.

"If the United States changes its attitude, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to help this administration," he told a Gulf security conference.

He added: "When they have said they have decided to withdraw from Iraq, then we will explain how the region can help.

"The essential thing is to have a realistic picture of the current situation in Iraq."

Meanwhile, former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani has said the ISG report does seem to address the problems in Iraq seriously.

He is quoted in Iranian local media as saying that the report recognises there is no military solution to the catastrophe in Iraq, only a political solution.

But Mr Rafsanjani adds that the issue for the West is what price Iran asks for its help on Iraq.




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