Iran and the US say they are prepared to hold bilateral talks on Iraq.
It would be the first public dialogue since the 1979 hostage crisis, after which the nations broke off ties, correspondents say.
This is a good first step. The fact that they're talking about anything is positive, even if they aren't talking about nukes.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, was authorised to talk to Iran about Iraq.
"But this is a very narrow mandate dealing specifically with issues relating to Iraq," he said.
They really should try to keep Scooter McDuck out of this.
Of course any notion of civil discourse must be tempered with shows of unbridled power and threats of brazen violence.
US backs first-strike attack plan
The US will not shy away from attacking regimes it considers hostile, or groups it believes have nuclear or chemical weapons, the White House has confirmed.
Gee, who could they be talking about?
In the first restatement of national security strategy since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US singles out Iran as the greatest single current danger.
Of course. So out of one side of our mouth we're asking Iran for help in dealing with Iraq while threatening them out the other. That's productive.
But it stresses that continuing diplomatic efforts must succeed if confrontation is to be avoided, vowing to take "all necessary measures" to protect US interests against Iran.
That's exactly what they said (and still say) about Iraq.
"When the consequences of an attack with WMD [weapons of mass destruction] are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by as grave dangers materialise."