U.S. Considers Talking to Iran About Iraq Security Crisis, Says Official

This would mark a major step in U.S. engagement with longtime adversary.

An Iraqi security officer near Mosul.
An Iraqi security officer in the northern town of Bartala, on June 15, 2012, east of the northern city of Mosul. AFP

REUTERS - The Obama administration is mulling possible discussions with Iran over the mounting security crisis in Iraq, a senior official said on Sunday, in what would mark a major step in U.S. engagement with its longtime adversary.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the United States was considering talking to Iran about Iraq, where the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is seeking to repel a stunning advance by Sunni militants who have seized several cities.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Washington was preparing to open a direct dialogue with Iran on security in Iraq and ways to push back the militants.

U.S. officials are also heading into a round of talks this week between world powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program.