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* Missed messages on Iran  Robert Kagan

* Envoy Condemns US Officials' Irresponsible Comments on Iran  News Report

* 'Israel will be destroyed if it attacks Iran'  News Report

* Warning of long war if Israel attacks Iran  News Report

* Iran unlikely to halt nuclear program, secret letters show  News Report

* Iran denies Ahmadi-Nejad was attacked  News Report

* Sanctions set stage for a new push on Iran  News Report

* اطلاعیۀ آیت الله منتطری دربارۀ حرام بودن مقاومت در برابر رأی مردم  Ali Behrooz

* لیست اسامی با حروف فارسی، تا تاریخ 08/09/08  Ali Behrooz

* War of words, or words of war  Ali Behrooz

* Could Israel use submarines against Iran?  News Report

* Iran deplores UAE claim on 3 islands  News Report

* 'Iran will respond to any attack'  News Report

* Carter to meet Hamas leadership in Cairo  News Report

* No Peace Without Hamas  News Report

* Ahmadinejad again voices Sept. 11 doubts  News Report

* Clinton, Obama tackle Iran issue in debate  News Report

* Bomb kills at least 9 in Iran mosque  News Report

* Iran demands Israel stop force threats  News Report

* Ahmadinejad to dismiss 2 cabinet ministers in Iran  News Report

* Iran: Naval encounter routine check  News Report

* Tony Blair's Palestine  News Report

* Clinton attacks Obama and McCain over Iraq  News Report

* Reza Pahlavi: Leadership for Democracy in Iran  News Report

* Petraeus: Return to 'pre-surge' troop levels, then wait  News Report

* Blast rocks US complex in Sanaa  News Report

* Clashes in Nile Delta after strike aborted  News Report

* When a great power goes mad  News Report

* Iranians defy censor with bootleg DVDs  News Report

* Putin says Iran is no threat  News Report

* Creating a US-Iran Bridge  News Report

* Court removes PKK from terror funds list  News Report

* 12 militants wanted by Israel flee Palestinian jail in West Bank after fight  News Report

* Limiting Tehran’s Influence?  Ali Behrooz

* UAE detains ship as grip on Tehran tightens  News Report

* Iranian critic not guilty of espionage  News Report

* Israelis and Palestinians pledge to reach peace pact by end of 2008  News Report

* Conference in Qom focuses on Iran-US challenges  News Report

* FM spokesman: Iran's plan on Iraq not put for voting  News Report

* Iran's top dissident cleric calls for U.S. talks  News Report

* Islamic militants take fight against Musharraf to 'Pakistan's Switzerland'  News Report

* 'Desperate' Musharraf declares martial law  News Report

* US Sanctions on Iran Leave Europeans in a Quandary  Sir Cyril Townsend

* After Thamilselvan  News Report

* Analysis: Is Abbas playing his cards right ahead of ME summit?  News Report

* Bahrain accuses Iran of nuclear weapons lie  News Report

* Senior Tamil Tiger leader killed  News Report

* US declares PKK 'a common enemy'  News Report

* Iran urged to join Gulf nuclear deal  News Report

* Iran's leaders need enemies like Bush, and at every turn he obliges them  News Report

* Giuliani hits Democrats on Iran  News Report

* Iran: We have no information on Arad  News Report

* Clinton hails US move on Iran  News Report

* Israel to prepare for potential missile attack  News Report

* US First Lady in Kuwait  News Report

* Rice: Mideast solution in jeopardy  News Report

* Kurdish fighters defy the world from mountain fortress as bombing begins  News Report

* Protesters confront Condoleezza Rice as she testifies on Middle East  News Report

* Showdown With Iran  News Report

* U.S. outlines Baghdad security handover plan  News Report

* Poll shows global opposition to Iran - and U.S.  News Report

* Iraq promises Turkey it will curb Kurdish rebels  News Report

* Big shoes to fill  News Report

* LUKOIL says halts Iran oil project on US sanctions  News Report

* Three soldiers killed in Darfur camp attack - UN  News Report

* There's a better - and cheaper - way that Washington can help Lebanon  News Report

* Lebanese patience for Nahr al-Bared displaced wears thin  News Report

* Iran, Syria urge diplomatic means instead of military incursion into Iraq  News Report

* Talabani refuses to deliver PKK leaders to Turkey amid protests against incursion  News Report

* Turkey vows to defeat PKK rebels  News Report

* Iran N-case on Olmert's Paris agenda  News Report

* Motaki (FM): US in No Position to Attack Iran  News Report

* We will fight to the death, Kurdish rebel leader vows from his hideout  News Report

* Deaths And Hostages In Border Clash  News Report

* Flash News: Kurdish separatistand 12 Turkish soldiers killed  News Report

* IRGC Commander:Aggressions to Be Reciprocated with a Rain of Rockets  News Report

* 2 leaders back Blair as European Union president  News Report

* Babacan stresses dialogue as key to solving Lebanese crisis  News Report

* Jordan hopes for positive outcome of Annapolis meeting  News Report

* Iran's nuclear negotiator resigns  News Report

* Larijani Resigns  Ali Behrooz

* NATO says shipment of roadside bombs was 'from Iran'  News Report

* Israel impeding effort to clear cluster bombs  News Report

* Bhutto defiant over bomb attack  News Report

* Democrats' stance on Iran criticized  News Report

* Top Palestinian negotiator may resign  News Report

* UN condemns killing of its truck drivers in Darfur  News Report

* Kurds sign oil deals beyond regional borders – former minister  News Report

* Jerusalem is ours, warns Likud  News Report

* Rice back in Israel after Egypt talks  News Report

* Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers in southern Iran go on strike  News Report

* Ahmadinejad: Caspian states to form economic cooperation organization  News Report

* Putin lands in Iran for nuke talks  News Report

* Mideast Conference and the Illusive Peace  News Report

* Coalition of the Reluctant  News Report

* World bank neglects African farming, study says  News Report

* Putin dismisses threat of assassination in Iran  News Report

* Israel signals readiness to cede parts of Jerusalem to Palestinians  News Report

* Christiane Amanpour: 'People think I relax with a Kalashnikov - I don't'  News Report

* After honeymoon, Sarkozy method poses three risks  News Report


Iran skips high-level meeting with US
[ News Report]  [2007-05-05 02:31:22]
[Source: 4 May 07, FT]


By Steve Negus in Sharm el-Sheikh

Published: May 4 2007 11:49 | Last updated: May 4 2007 19:13

US and Iranian officials had low-level contacts at a meeting intended to stabilise Iraq, after the Islamic republic’s foreign minister walked away from an opportunity to speak to Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, over dinner, ostensibly because of the presence of a woman violinist in a red dress.

The encounter between Iranian and US ambassadors at the two-day Iraq neighbours conference in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh lasted only a few minutes. But it was a further sign of a new US willingness to engage with regimes that oppose its policies and that it had sought to isolate.

Tehran, however, has apparently ruled out any substantive meeting with the US before the US military releases five Iranians held in Iraq since January.

In a departure from recent policy, Ms Rice met Walid Muallem, her Syrian counterpart, on Thursday. The talks were the highest level meeting since Washington pulled its ambassador out of Damascus in 2005, in the wake of the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

Ms Rice had been hoping to speak to Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, at a conference dinner. But he told a press conference on Friday that he left the dinner, where he was supposed to be seated directly across from Ms Rice, because there was “something wrong” with its “Islamic standards”, a reference to the violinist.

The US accuses Iran – and Syria – of fomenting Iraqi violence. Tehran, which on Friday blamed the Iraqi conflict on the US, had been reluctant to send representatives to the Sharm el Sheikh conference without a US promise that five Iranians arrested in Iraq would be released.

Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq, told the Financial Times in an interview that the US would treat the five Iranian employees seized from an unofficial consular office as it would any other security detainees.

“They will have their case reviewed a couple months down the road,” he said. “It goes beyond the limits of imagination to characterise these guys as diplomatic officers or consular officers [as Iran does].”

The Sharm el Sheikh meeting, partly intended to break the ice between the US and Iraq’s neighbours, ended with a communiqué calling on governments to work to stabilise Iraq. It also produced an Arab League pledge to resume preparations for a national reconciliation conference that has been put on hold for more than a year.

The conference also reaffirmed the creation of several working groups that would deal with issues involving Iraq and its neighbours, including border security, in which Iran is expected to participate.

US and Iraqi officials have said they have detected some signs that Iraq’s neighbours are cracking down on support for militants.

A US military spokesman said on Thursday that the number of militants crossing the Syrian border had dropped in the last month.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

 





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