The US will not ask Iran for its help on ending violence in Iraq. A State Department spokesman has been quoted as ruling out talks, saying a previous attempt at direct contact with Tehran on the issue had failed. President George W Bush is under pressure to change strategy on the war but has rejected the possibility of talks, until Iran suspends uranium enrichment.
Two American soldiers were reportedly killed in combat on Sunday, bringing the death toll to well over 2 thousand four hundred. Iraq was seen as a key reason for the US Republican Party´s defeat in mid-term elections last week. The Democrats who now control Congress have called for a gradual troop withdrawal to begin in the next few months. Former Secretary of State James Baker is leading a bipartisan panel which has met with the President to discuss a change in course on Iraq. Some members of the panel were said to be in favour of talks with Iran and Syria.