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U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Tells VOA U.S. Prepared to Continue Dialogue with Iran


Says "We'll do anything reasonable to try and improve security here in Iraq"

Washington, D.C., March 4, 2008 – U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker spoke about the pending U.S.-Iran Baghdad talks in an exclusive interview yesterday with the Voice of America (VOA). Speaking with VOA's Persian News Network international correspondent Katayoun Beglari-Scarlet, Ambassador Crocker said "Iran has chosen for whatever reason to delay.... We're prepared to continue the dialogue," adding that "We'll do anything reasonable to try and improve security here in Iraq."

Referring to recent actions by Iran's leadership, Ambassador Crocker said, "I think it is very important in the new Iraq, that states have relations with the state of Iraq and with all of Iraq's people." He added that "...it is very important that Iran is a good friend and a good partner, and not the opposite."

Ambassador Crocker asserted that although the U.S. has significant differences with Iran's regime, he remains hopeful about the future of U.S.-Iranian relations. "I expect that under some circumstances Iran and the U.S. will come back to a relationship," he explained. "Historically we have had close ties, and I think we will again in the future."

VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience of all international broadcasters in Iran, with one in four adult Iranians tuning into a VOA show at least once a week. Programs are also streamed on our website, www.VOAPNN.com.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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