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Iran turns down cease-fire to allow Gulf oil cleanup

Iraq said it was prepared to observe a limited cease-fire in its war with Iran. That way, emergency crews could try to cap two damaged Iranian wells that are the origin of a gigantic oil slick in the Gulf.

But Iran turned down the Iraqi offer in Bahrain, where the two countries met along with other Gulf states for emergency talks on the problem. Iran said Iraq should first give safe conduct to the repair crews and retract an earlier war communique that said ships close to the leaking oil field would be military targets.

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