Iran General NewsIran in secret talks with U.S., UK - report

Iran in secret talks with U.S., UK – report

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 03 – Iran is secretly carrying out secret talks with the United States and Britain in two European countries, according to a report on a government-owned Persian-language website. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 03 – Iran is secretly carrying out secret talks with the United States and Britain in two European countries, according to a report on a government-owned Persian-language website.

Iran is being represented in nuclear talks with British officials in Geneva by Javad Vaeedi, who heads the international security department of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the website Aftab reported. Aftab belongs to the allies of former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Iranian negotiators had been dispatched to Sweden, where they are holding secret talks with the head of the Afghanistan and Iran desk of the U.S. State Department, the report added.

The reported talks in Sweden and Switzerland could not be independently confirmed. But political observers were struck by the conciliatory tone of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw towards Iran during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.

“I don’t think reports of secret talks should be taken too seriously right now”, said Jamshid Parvizian, an Iranian journalist based in Istanbul. “But you wonder what’s going on when in the midst of international pressure piling up on Iran over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent speech, there seems to be a flurry of statements from London that are positive towards the Islamic Republic. Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, has carried a dozen news reports in the past 48 hours almost praising the position of the Foreign Secretary and his junior ministers on Iran”.

Javad Vaeedi, a former senior officer of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is also the editor-in-chief of Hamshahri Diplomatik, a journal on world affairs that is published by the Tehran Municipality. He was given the post when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a close ally, was the mayor of Tehran.

Vaeedi’s trip to Switzerland was reported to have been under a “non-diplomatic cover”. The report said that Britain was negotiating on behalf of the European Three, which includes France and Germany.

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