Report: Jordan King tries to broker deal between US and Iran
Jordan's King Abdullah is quietly trying to broker a deal that would lead Tehran to surrender some 70 al Qaeda operatives, including the son of Osama bin Laden, in exchange for U.S. action on the largest Iranian opposition group now based in Iraq, according to U.S. and Middle East officials, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Abdullah, who is hoping to revive dialogue between the United States and Iran, discussed prospects with the Bush administration during a private visit to Washington on Thursday and Friday. He visited Tehran earlier this year, the first visit by a Jordanian king in a quarter-century, the officials said.
Jordan's attempt reflects growing interest in the Middle East in seeing the United States reopen informal talks with Iran, which were suspended after three sessions in Europe earlier in 2003. During his tour of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria last week, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was also urged to improve relations with Iran.
"Certainly people in the region, including other heads of state, are interested in seeing something happen. It's clear that people in the region would like us to do what we can to establish a better relationship," a senior State Department official said, according to the Post. (Albawaba.com)
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