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U.S. Seeks a Diplomatic Base in Iran

U.S. Seeks a Diplomatic Base in Iran

Ewen MacAskill
London Guardian
July 18, 2008

The Bush administration said yesterday that it welcomed the prospect of increased “people-to-people” contact between Americans and Iranians, as it pushed ahead at speed with plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran.

The White House and the State Department refused to deny a Guardian report that a decision has been taken to set up a US-interests section in Tehran, marking the first return of its diplomats to the city since the 1979-81 Iranian revolution.

A source familiar with the decision-making said the Bush administration has either already, or would over the next few days, lodge a formal request with the Iranian government to set up an interests section, a halfway-house to an embassy.

Sean McCormack, the US state department spokesman, responded to questions from reporters by saying: “We are not going to discuss the internal workings of the US government.”

But he went on to pave the way for an announcement by saying that the US is keen to encourage “people-to-people exchanges” and listed a series of contacts between Americans and Iranians, including visits by artists and a planned trip by Iran’s Olympic team to the US.

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Bush Sends Top Diplomat To Meet With Iran

AP
July 16, 2008

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6iQfw5TrGRQ

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IX7ojH3uiq0

A top U.S. diplomat heading to Geneva has no plans to meet separately with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, but the mere presence of the Bush administration official at talks between the Iranian negotiator and representatives of other world powers will be a sharp break with past administration policy.

William Burns, America’s third highest-ranking diplomat, will attend talks with the Iranian envoy, Saeed Jalili, in Switzerland on Saturday. The talks are aimed at persuading Iran to halt activities that could lead to the development of atomic weapons. It will be the first time such a high-ranking U.S. official has attended such talks.

Official contacts between Iran and the United States are extremely rare and although Washington is part of a six-nation effort to get Iran to stop enriching and reprocessing uranium, the administration has shunned contacts with Tehran on the matter.

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U.S. May Establish Diplomatic Presence In Iran
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200807..PSyUojyOFktQwZYb.3QA

 


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