Iran walks back U.S. diplomacy

Oct. 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- The diplomatic engagement between U.S. officials and their Iranian counterparts may have been a mistake, an Iranian lawmaker said Tuesday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met behind closed doors with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, for his part, spoke by phone with President Barack Obama, the first such high-level engagement since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei said Sunday he supported the "diplomatic drive" because he had trust in Rouhani's administration but said some of the developments during the trip to the United States were "not appropriate."

Mansour Haqiqatpour, an Iranian legislator, clarified remarks made by Zarif about the diplomatic outreach.

"Zarif did not say that what they did was inappropriate, but admitted that, given the remark by [Khamenei], answering Obama's phone call and the prolongation of the meeting with Kerry have been wrong," he was quoted by state-funded broadcaster Press TV as saying Tuesday.

Khamenei said he was wary of U.S. intentions. Rouhani said during a Cabinet meeting Sunday "the administration will tread [carefully] based on national interests and [Khamenei's] guidelines."

Khamenei has ultimate say over Iranian affairs.

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