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July 17, 2008

The Thaw in Tehran
Posted by Adam Blickstein

So not only is the Bush administration making minimal diplomatic overtures towards Iran over its nuclear program, but there are reports that the U.S. is also setting into motion plans to "station diplomats in Iran for the first time since the 1979 revolution:"

The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

Of course last month the White House denied any such speculation, spurred by Condi Rice's call for a diplomatic presence in Tehran, but if true would represent a major shift by the Administration.  We'll have to wait an see what is actually announced, but between this and the William Burns announcement, we could actually be seeing diplomatic sensibility winning out over unproductive bellicosity when it comes to our policies towards Iran. That said, while a welcome possible development, as with anything with President Bush's tenure, we shouldn't hold our breath too long.


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This isn't a "major shift" if nuclear enrichment remains the primary precondition to direct talks and benefits.

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