US Envoy Won't Raise Fate of Imprisoned Americans

Issue shadows sensitive meeting with Iran
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2007 4:15 AM CDT
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker speaks during a press conference in Baghdad on Monday, May 28, 2007. Crocker said on Monday that groundbreaking talks with his Iranian counterpart lasted four hours,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The fate of four Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Tehran won't come up in today's talks between the US and Iran for fear of scuttling the negotiations, Bloomberg reports. US ambassador Ryan Crocker will focus on Iraq and Iran's nuclear program in the Baghdad meeting, only the second direct talks between the two nations in 27 years.

The four Americans—three academics and a journalist—are accused of plotting against the Tehran government  on behalf of the US. Says one expert in Iranian-American relations: "I don't see the utility of paying lip service to Iranian human-rights abuses in State of the Union speeches, yet totally ignoring the topic in face-to-face discussions.''