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July 15, 2008

Updated: US Diplomat to Meet with Iran

For the first time since the hostage crisis in 1979, a high-ranking US diplomat will meet in person with Iranian officials to discuss broad areas of US concern.  Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, the number three official within the US State Department, will join representatives from the other P5+1 countries for a meeting this Saturday in Geneva with Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili.  The topic of the discussions will be Iran’s latest response to the package of incentives the international community has offered to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.  This marks the first time the United States has engaged with an Iranian diplomat over a range of issues, and marks a nearly complete turnaround for US policy which, until today has required Iran to suspend uranium enrichment as a precondition for US participation in talks.
For breaking coverage of this story, see these stories from the New York Times, the Washington Post, AP, the Washington Times, and ReutersUPDATE: NIAC welcomes US participation in Iran nuclear talks

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