The New York Times claims Iran has shown interest in holding direct talks with the U.S. through a message sent to the U.S. administration by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.

The report indicates that Maliki told the American ambassador in Baghdad in early July that he was charged with relaying a message that the new Iranian president, Hassan Rohani, will be amenable to holding talks with the United States.

The New York Times indicates that the records do not clarify whether the message is directly from Iranian officials or mainly an initiative on Maliki’s part.

The U.S. State Department has responded to the news, saying: “As we have repeatedly said, we are open to direct talks with Iran in order to resolve the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader said recently that he is not very optimistic about direct talks with the U.S.; however, he added that as in the past, he has allowed for discussion on certain issues.