Iran Tells U.S.: You'll Need Our Help in Iraq

Iran said Wednesday that its attempt to work with the United States on Iraq had foundered, but that Washington can't resolve the upsurge in violence without consultations with Iraq's neighbors.

"Previously, we had dialogue" about Iraq, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi (search) told reporters. "Currently it has stopped because we felt we were going nowhere. The Americans give promises but don't keep their promises. Currently, they [Americans] are taking a wrong path."

Kharrazi did not say when the Iran-U.S. talks took place or when they stopped. He said Iran was willing to help improve the security situation in Iraq, but gave no indication it was trying to resume talks.

Iran "is making its utmost efforts to help resolve the situation in Iraq as soon as possible so that the power is given back to the Iraqi people," he said. "The solution is for occupiers to leave Iraq."

The official Islamic Republic News Agency (search) reported Wednesday that a top Iranian Foreign Ministry official, Hossein Sadeghi (search), was being dispatched to Iraq for consultations with members of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council and with Iraqi clerics.

Kharrazi advised the United States to consult with Iraqi clerics and Iraq's neighbors. Relying on force, he said, "is a big mistake with severe consequences. They have to employ wisdom .... They [Americans] don't know the psychology of the Iraqi people. They should avoid making more mistakes."

The U.S. military has been fighting on several fronts across Iraq this month — against followers of an anti-U.S. Shiite Muslim cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr (search), in the south; against Sunni Muslim insurgents in the central city of Fallujah; as well as in Baghdad and elsewhere.

In his remarks Wednesday, Iran's foreign minister rejected U.S. accusations of Shiite Iran's involvement in the upsurge in violence in Iraq, where the Shiite majority has shown increasing impatience with the U.S. occupation.

Kharrazi made no comment on the tense situation in southern Iraq, where al-Sadr was holed up in his office in the holy city of Najaf.