Iran, U.S. in ‘Secret’ Nuke Talks
Posted on Apr 15, 2008
Diplomatic relations could be better between Iran and America, and judging by the tough-guy posturing of both nations’ presidents, neither side is likely to back down, especially when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program. But, as the UK’s Independent reports, secret “back channel” discussions going on between the U.S. and Iran for some five years present a slightly different story.
Iran and the United States have been engaged in secret “back channel” discussions for the past five years on Iran’s nuclear programme and the broader relationship between the two sworn enemies, The Independent can reveal.
One of the participants, former senior US diplomat Thomas Pickering, explained that a group of former American diplomats and experts had been meeting with Iranian academics and policy advisers “in a lot of different places, although not in the US or Iran”.
While the nuclear issue was “prominent”, Mr Pickering said, “we discussed what’s going on domestically in both countries and wide-ranging issues” affecting the US-Iran relationship. Although none of the group members was from the US or Iranian governments, he said that “each side kept their officials informed”. The Bush administration “did not discourage us,” he added.
In on the secret talks: Thomas Pickering.