Monday, February 26, 2007

Comment (David Ignatius): Signals From Tehran

The title of the two-page Iranian document is "Gentlemen's Agreement." In convoluted English, it lists 11 points of understanding supposedly reached in September between Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani and his European counterpart, Javier Solana, on a temporary, partial, not-quite suspension of uranium enrichment.

What's interesting isn't the purported agreement -- Solana's spokeswoman, Cristina Gallach, insists there wasn't one -- but the fact that the Iranians are circulating the document and signaling through various channels that they want to restart dialogue. Indeed, when Larijani met Solana in Munich this month, "he expressed the willingness to resume talks to prepare final negotiations," according to a source close to Solana.

"We're getting pinged all over the world by Iranians wanting to talk to us," Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns said in an interview yesterday.

Read the rest at the Washington Post