Rice: Talks with Iran to deal just with Iraq and not with nuclear issue
The United States has not ruled out talks with Iran about Iraq, but any discussions would not deal with Tehran's nuclear program, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday. "This is not a negotiation of some kind," Rice said after meeting with Australia's prime minister, John Howard.
According to her, the potential talks will involve only the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad.
Iran offered on Thursday to begin talks with the United States aimed at stabilizing Iraq, the AP reported.
Commenting on the wide military operation Thursday in which U.S. and Iraqi troops swept north from Baghdad, Rice said that intelligence on "insurgent" activity in Samarra led to this. When the military has "reason to believe" that a strike will flush out insurgents, Rice said, "then the military does that."
She earlier told a university audience that history would determine the verdict on the U.S.-led war to oust Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. "I'm quite aware that there are those who disagree about the decision that we would overthrow Saddam Hussein," Rice said.
Rice was twice shouted down by protesters as she spoke to the students. "Condoleezza Rice, you're a war criminal," a young man shouted minutes after she started to deliver her address. "Iraqi blood is on your hands and you can't wash that blood away," he repeated until guards led him away.