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Discussions on Talks Between US, Iran Underway

U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, says discussions are underway about when he will meet with Iranian officials about Iraq. In an interview with the Associated Press, Zalmay said the talks should be held in Baghdad. The United States has accused Iran of meddling in Iraq.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said talks with Iran about Iraq may be useful, but she made clear the discussions would not include Iran's nuclear program.

Rice made the comments while on a diplomatic visit to Australia. She said the U.N. Security Council is where the issue of Iran's nuclear program must be resolved.

Her comments come as the U.N. Security Council prepares to meet today on Iran's controversial nuclear activities.

Diplomats say the council members will try to settle differences over a draft statement urging Iran to curb its nuclear activities.

The United States alleges Iran is seeking highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon, a charge Tehran denies.

Direct talks between the United States and Iran have not occurred since 1980 when Washington severed ties with Iran.

Thursday, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, said Tehran is ready to open the talks to help stabilize Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.