TEHRAN, Iran - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s abrupt dismissal of a letter from Iran’s president might only strengthen hardline attitudes and mistrust of America, some Iranians warned Tuesday.
As President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began a high-profile visit to a key Muslim country, Indonesia, a former top Iranian official said Rice’s response will give new justification to those who oppose ties with the U.S.
Iran’s former ambassador to France, Sadeq Kharrazi, said the letter ? the first from an Iranian head of state to an American president in 27 years ? “could have been a turning point in relations.” But he said Rice squandered the opportunity with what he called a “hasty reaction.”