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Mottaki to visit Iran interests section in Washington

The US State Department says there are no plans for talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki during his one-day trip to Washington.

In a rare move on Wednesday, Mottaki was granted permission to visit the Iranian interests section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington.

“It was a straightforward request and we granted it,” said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley, asserting that the move should not be considered as a positive gesture to Iran by the Obama administration.

“I think we’re far more interested in having Iran come tomorrow to Geneva and we hope that they will be the ones who are offering gestures that they are ready to address the concerns that the international community has,” he added.

Mottaki’s visit comes less than a day before Iran and the United States hold their first diplomatic talks in 30 years in Geneva.

The Tehran government has said that the sit-down, which would also involve Russia, China, Britain and France, will provide a forum to discuss global and regional developments within the framework of Iran’s package of proposals which was released earlier in the month.

Washington and its European allies, however, are widely expected to use the talks as an opportunity to persuade Iran to end its enrichment activities.

Iranian officials have in turn emphasized that they have no objections to the talks, though they will not compromise on the country’s inalienable nuclear rights.

Washington and European powers have been accusing Tehran of refining uranium for nuclear weapons development.

Iran, on the other hand, continues to dismiss the allegation, saying its nuclear activities are solely aimed at peaceful energy production and under close monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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