Saturday, 19 July 2008

U.S. considers opening a diplomatic post in Iran

PARIS: The Bush administration is considering establishing an American diplomatic presence in Iran for the first time since relations were severed during the 444-day occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran nearly three decades ago, European and U.S. officials said.
The idea would be to open a so-called interests section, rather than a fully staffed embassy, with U.S. diplomats who could issue visas to Iranians seeking to visit the United States. But the officials, who spoke Thursday on the condition of anonymity under diplomatic rules, cautioned that the idea had not been approved by the White House and could be delayed or blocked by opposition within the administration.
The proposal comes as the White House is adopting new tactics in dealing with Iran. With six months left in office, President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appear to be looking for new ways to reach out to the Iranian people as the administration tries to bring a peaceful resolution to the impasse over Iran's nuclear program.

NB: No mention here of the NYT being scooped yesterday on this story by The Guardian. Interestingly, the dateline for this story is Paris, home of the International Herald Tribune and one of the key sources is an unnamed European diplomat. My guess would be British?

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