Backchannel Iran Diplomacy

I’ve long thought that Iran may try use its influence over Iraq to extract concessions on its nuclear program. But a “BBC report”: has UN ambassador Sir John Sawers saying that Iran tried to do exactly that before restarting uranium conversion:

“There were various Iranians who would come to London and suggest we had tea in some hotel or other. They’d do the same in Paris, they’d do the same in Berlin, and then we’d compare notes among the three of us,” he told the BBC.

“The Iranians wanted to be able to strike a deal whereby they stopped killing our forces in Iraq in return for them being allowed to carry on with their nuclear programme: *’We stop killing you in Iraq, stop undermining the political process there, you allow us to carry on with our nuclear programme without let or hindrance.’*

Also interesting is this admission from Nicholas Burns:

bq. “We had advocated regime change,” said Mr Burns. “We had a very threatening posture towards Iran for a number of years. It didn’t produce any movement whatsoever.”

The admission is obviously what is of interest, not the information.

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