Nuclear negotiations with Iran

Associated Press
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, is seen off by Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri, second right, the head of the supreme leader's office, Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, second left, and deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Hassan Aboutorabi Fard, left, during an official departure ceremony as he leaves Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, en route to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. As world leaders gather at the U.N. this week, the U.S. and its European allies are consumed by efforts to blunt the savage advance of the Islamic State group, to end the raging Ebola epidemic and to make progress in nuclear negotiations with Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

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Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State militants, but would like more flexibility on Iran's uranium enrichment program in exchange, senior Iranian officials told Reuters.

The comments from the officials, who asked not to be named, highlight how difficult it may be for the Western powers to keep the nuclear negotiations separate from other regional conflicts. Iran wields influence in the Syrian civil war and on the Iraqi government, which is fighting the advance of Islamic State fighters.

Iran has sent mixed signals about its willingness to cooperate on defeating Islamic State (IS), a hard-line Sunni Islamist group that has seized large swaths of territory across Syria and Iraq and is blamed for a wave of sectarian violence, beheadings and massacres of civilians.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said recently that he vetoed a U.S. overture to the Islamic Republic to work together on defeating IS, but U.S. officials said there was no such offer. In public, both Washington and Tehran have ruled out cooperating militarily in tackling the IS threat.


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