TEHRAN, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Iran said it has no need for direct talks with the United States over the worsening security conditions in Iraq, official IRNA news agency quoted an Iranian foreign ministry official as saying on Monday.
The talks with the United States in Vienna will focus solely on Iran's nuclear program, and there would be no talks about Iraq, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told IRNA.
Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, known also as the P5+1 group, started a new round of nuclear talks in Vienna on Monday aimed at paving the way for a comprehensive nuclear accord on the country's controversial nuclear program.
On Saturday, Iran's President, Hassan Rouhani, said Iran might consider working with the United States in dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq, a jihadist group that is fighting against the Iraqi government, and seeks to build a caliphate on medieval Sunni Muslim precepts in Iraq and Syria.
Asked about possible Iran's military assistance to Iraq to counter ISIL, Amir-Abdollahian said the Iraqi army is strong enough to defend the country against the militant group and they do not need Iran's military assistance to thwart the "terrorist movement."
The Iraqi government is fully prepared to counter terrorism, and is determined to put an end to terror acts in the country, he said.
The Islamic republic will provide Iraq with any consultations that would help its army to eradicate terrorism, he said, adding that Iran will never directly be involved in Iraq.
He also denied that the ISIL's recent offensive would impose any threat to Iran.
Tehran is determined to adopt tougher measures against any illegal refugees trying to cross its western borders, Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli was quoted as saying by semi-official Fars news agency on Monday.
However, the United States seems to be open to such talks. Washington said Monday it might use the new round of Vienna nuclear talks to discuss with Tehran possible cooperation tackling the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.
A senior U.S. official said that as a result "there may be some conversations" with Iranian negotiators on the sidelines of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers in Vienna on Monday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Yahoo News on Monday that he will be open to the idea of working with Iran over concerning the situation in Iraq, adding that he "wouldn't rule out anything that would be constructive."