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Talks with Iran over threat

IRAN and the West have common interests in seeing the defeat of extremists who have swept into Iraq, the Foreign Secretary has told MPs as it was confirmed he has spoken to his counterpart in Tehran about the crisis.

In a Commons statement, William Hague said further announcements on Britain's relations with the government in Tehran could be made today.

He said there was no prospect of a British military intervention to tackle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) in Iraq, but said counter-terrorism support could be offered to the government in Baghdad, and a Ministry of Defence team had been sent to assist embassy staff in planning.

Mr Hague told MPs he had spoken to Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. "He said there is a case for further steps forward in our bilateral relations... I will have something more to say about that imminently," he said.

He spoke as Isis was banned under UK terrorism laws. The Foreign Secretary called Isis the "most violent and brutal militant group in the Middle East".

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