Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Details On 2003 Effort By Iran To Negotiate With U.S.

A newly leaked document sheds some light on the Iranian outreach to the U.S. in the Spring of 2003 (see Who Sabotaged Iranian Outreach To U.S.?), in which an offer by Iran to negotiate over the most pressing issues between the two nations was summarily rejected by Washington.

The Swiss ambassador to Iran informed U.S. officials in 2003 that an Iranian proposal for comprehensive talks with the United States had been reviewed and approved by Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; then-President Mohammad Khatami; and then-Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, according to a copy of the cover letter to the Iranian document.

"I got the clear impression that there is a strong will of the regime to tackle the problem with the U.S. now and to try it with this initiative," Tim Guldimann, the ambassador, wrote in a cover letter that was faxed to the State Department on May 4, 2003. Guldimann attached a one-page Iranian document labeled "Roadmap" that listed U.S. and Iranian aims for potential negotiations, putting on the table such issues as an end to Iran's support for anti-Israeli militants, action against terrorist groups on Iranian soil and acceptance of Israel's right to exist.

The cover letter, which had not been previously disclosed, was provided by a source who felt its contents were mischaracterized by State Department officials.

The cover letter can be found here (2-page PDF).


Post a Comment

<< Home