U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Bush administration is still considering setting up a diplomatic mission in Iran.
Rice refuted an Associated Press report that the administration had decided to hand the issue to its successor. She told reporters that Washington continues to look at the idea.
On a flight from India to Kazakhstan for talks on other matters, Rice called the idea interesting. She did not comment further.
The United States and Iran are at odds over the Middle East country's nuclear program.
Iran has ignored U.N. resolutions demanding that it stop uranium enrichment. U.S. and European governments fear that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.
Tehran denies that and says it wants only to produce low-grade fuel for nuclear energy.
The same enrichment process also could be used to produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.