Iraq: US & Iran Opt For ‘Face-Saving’ Approach
(Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki)
It is official. The US and Iranian top officials would meet this week to discuss Iraq and the ongoing violence there.
The New York Times reports: “The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran announced Sunday that it would attend a regional conference on Iraq later this week, setting the stage for the first cabinet-level meeting between Iran and the United States since the end of 2004.
“The American envoy to the meeting, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said that she would not rule out the possibility of conferring directly with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
“Since the United States announced last month that it would attend the conference, it has been assumed that Iran and Syria, which border Iraq to the east and west, would also attend.
“The regional meeting, set for Thursday and Friday in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el Sheik, is expected to draw the foreign ministers from Iraqâ€™s neighbors, including Syria, as well as Egypt, Bahrain and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
“Many of those attending represent Sunni Muslim governments that worry that Iran and Iraq, which are both dominated by Shiite Muslims, represent a growing threat to regional stability and their own power.”
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Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki completed his undergraduate studies from India in 1976, and received his MA from Tehran University in 1996 in the field of international relations. Mottaki has a good command of English as well as Urdu and Turkish languages.
He was a member of parliament in the first Majlis, head of seventh political bureau of Foreign Ministry (1984), Iran’s ambassador to Turkey (1985), Foreign Ministry’s secretary general for West European affairs (1989), deputy foreign minister for international affairs (1989) and deputy foreign minister for legal, consular and parliamentary affairs (1992).
He has also been Iran’s ambassador to Japan (1994), advisor to foreign minister (1999), deputy head of Culture and Islamic Communications Organization (2001) and Head of foreign relations committee of 7th Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.