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US:  Iranian FM Visits Washington


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A U.S. official says Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was in Washington Wednesday for a rare visit to the Iranian interests section at the Pakistani embassy.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says officials granted Mottaki a visa "as a courtesy" after Iran requested he be allowed to travel to Washington.

Crowley says there were no plans for Mottaki to meet with any U.S. officials.

Mottaki's visit came a day before officials from Iran and six world powers meet in Geneva for critical talks on Iran's nuclear program.

Asked if U.S. approval of Mottaki's trip to Washington can be seen as a gesture toward Iran, Crowley said the United States hopes Iranian officials will be the ones offering gestures in Geneva that they are ready to address international concerns on their atomic program.

The Pakistani embassy in Washington represents Iranian interests with the U.S. government, in the absence of U.S.-Iran diplomatic relations.

The United States and Iran severed diplomatic ties nearly 30 years ago.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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