STEVE INSKEEP, host:
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The U.S. and Iran are throwing harsh language at each other even as their diplomats prepare to meet. We're about to look at both developments, and we begin with the meeting. Ambassadors from the U.S. and Iran will talk about how to stabilize Iraq. That plan has prompted optimism and criticism in Iran, and we have a report from Roxana Saberi in Tehran.
ROXANA SABERI: On a recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Iran had agreed to a request from Washington for the talks in order to help the Iraqi people and government. Iran and the United States are seen as the two countries with the most influence over Iraq's future.
And there is some support within Iran's parliament for the decision to hold talks, although some lawmakers cautioned that Iran must be wary of what they call U.S. tricks. Others say the negotiations could resolve bilateral Iran-U.S. issues, even though the U.S. has said it plans to focus solely on the subject of Iraq.
A reformist newspaper says the move is in the interests of both governments. One hard-line newspaper said the U.S. has finally been forced to recognize Tehran as a major player in the region. While another strongly criticized Iran's decision, saying that negotiating with the U.S. means, quote, "shaking hands with Satan and dancing with wolves."
Many here believe that Iran and the U.S. have deep differences and that U.S. hostility toward Iran has intensified in recent years.
For NPR News, I'm Roxana Saberi in Tehran.