The crumbled status of American-Iranian relations is reflected in the eroded U.S. seal on its old embassy in Tehran.
Plans for a bastardized version of a U.S. embassy—an “interests section”—are allegedly in motion in Iran as the Bush administration tries to supplement its bellicose rhetoric with what it calls “people-to-people exchanges” between Iranians and U.S. citizens.
The Bush administration said [Thursday] that it welcomed the prospect of increased “people-to-people” contact between Americans and Iranians, as it pushed ahead at speed with plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran.
The White House and the State Department refused to deny a Guardian report that a decision has been taken to set up a US-interests section in Tehran, marking the first return of its diplomats to the city since the 1979-81 Iranian revolution.
A source familiar with the decision-making said the Bush administration has either already, or would over the next few days, lodge a formal request with the Iranian government to set up an interests section, a halfway-house to an embassy.