On the same day it carries out major military exercises, Iran has said it would consider holding talks with the US on security in Iraq if an official request is made. Some news reports say discussions between Washington and Tehran are expected to be an option put forward by a US commission investigating how to quel the violence.
The idea of talks has previously been dismissed by President Bush, and it is an issue that has been complicated by the stalemate in the row over Iran’s nuclear programme. The UN Security Council is still debating a tough EU draft resolution on the issue. Meanwhile, in the Iranian capital, thousands of people chanting “death to America” have protested outside the former US embassy that students stormed on this day back in 1979. An estimated 10,000 people took part.