The United States says it is ready "in principle" to begin talks with Iran on "Iranian activities in Iraq."
The State Department's senior coordinator for Iraq, David Satterfield, told a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday the timing for any such talks is uncertain.
A State Department spokesman says Satterfield was not expressing a change of policy for the Bush administration. U.S. officials have said they will talk to Iran, but only after it suspends its nuclear program. President Bush has accused Iran and Syria of working to undermine Iraq's democracy.
U.S. congressional Democrats -- who will control the Senate and House of Representatives in January -- favor bilateral U.S.-Iran talks on both Iraq and Iran's nuclear program. They say the discussions could lead to a calming of the situation in Iraq and a halt to Iran's uranium enrichment program.
In other news, Iraqi authorities say about 100 people were killed or found dead Wednesday in the war-torn country. The violence included a car bomb explosion that killed at least 11 people in Baghdad. More than 50 bodies were found in the capital.
The U.S. military says six American troops in Iraq died Tuesday -- four from combat wounds suffered in Anbar province, and two from a roadside bomb explosion in Baghdad.