Iran denies news about sending message to USA

Iran has not sent any message to US. officials by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for direct talks, Iranian ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danaifar said, ISNA news agency reported.

The ambassador's remarks came in answer to the article in the New York Times, which said that in a meeting in early July with the American ambassador in Baghdad, Maliki suggested that he was relaying a message from Iranian officials and asserted that Hassan Rouhani, Iran's incoming president, would be serious about any discussions with the United States, according to accounts of the meeting.

According to the ISNA, Danaifar denied this news and said that Iraqi officials are interested in facilitating Iran's relations with other countries but the news linked to sending message from Iranian officials for direct Talks with U.S. on nuclear program is incorrect.

Although Mr. Maliki indicated that he had been in touch with confidants of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he did not disclose precisely whom he was dealing with on the Iranian side.

Some Western officials remain uncertain whether Iran's leaders have sought to use Iraq as a conduit or whether the idea is mainly Mr. Maliki's initiative, according to NY Times.

State Department officials declined to comment on Maliki's move or what steps the United States might have taken in response.

American officials have said since the beginning of the Obama administration that they would be open to direct talks with Iran.