The pinstripe set is going gaga at the opportunities inherent to diplomatic engagement with Iran over shared interests in Afghanistan:
The Russian initiative brought together Patrick Moon, the US diplomat in charge of south and central Asia, and Mehdi Akhundzadeh, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, as well as a British diplomat who has been acting as a mediator.
“We’ve turned a page to have Iranians and Americans at the same table all discussing Afghanistan,” Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, told delegates.
A western official who attended the talks said: “For the first time in two years I’m optimistic about Afghanistan.”
It followed Nato’s first official contact with Iran two weeks ago, when the Iranian ambassador visited Nato’s assistant secretary-general to discuss drugs and refugees.
Friday’s meeting was held under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a six-member regional security group including Russia, China and central Asian states, to discuss combating terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan.
Skeptics who believe that Russian-facilitated talks with its Iranian client might have motives antithetical to our own will please be silent: Only think of the travel opportunities, the endless coffee table huddles, the inevitable stultifying “resolution” recalling, reaffirming, expressing, endorsing, underlining, acting, deploring, condemning, demanding, deciding, welcoming and encouraging, calling and affirming – it could keep a man in work for decades!
You could make a career out of it.
Missile experts from Iran are in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, according to reports.
Amid increasing global concern over the launch, which the US and its allies consider to be illegal, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper claimed today that a 15-strong delegation from Tehran has been in the country advising the North Koreans since the beginning of March.
The experts include senior officials from the Iranian rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, the newspaper said.
The Iranians brought a letter from President Ahmadinejad to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il stressing the importance of co-operating on space technology, it added.
Iranian co-operation: It’s breaking out everywhere.