In Break With Policy, US to Join Iran Nuke Talks

Move hailed as breakthrough in Iranian relations
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 12:17 AM CDT
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili. A top US envoy will join his talks with EU negotiator.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – In a break with long-standing policy, a top US envoy will join European Union talks with Iran concerning its nuclear program, reports the Washington Post. Undersecretary of State William Burns will join the EU's foreign policy chief and Iran's nuclear negotiator in Geneva this weekend. Burns will hold out the possibility of direct talks with the US if Iran ceases enriching uranium.

The move, described as "a one-time deal" by a US official, is being hailed by some as a change of course by the Bush administration. "It is a very important sign by the United States," said a senior European official. The White House has long insisted that US representatives would not join preliminary discussions with Iran until after it stops enriching uranium.