Obama Official Establishes Contact With Iran

A brief exchange this week between presidential envoy Richard C. Holbrooke and Iranian diplomat Mohammad Mehdi Akhondzadeh marked the first face-to-face contact between the Obama administration and the government of Iran.

The unplanned encounter took place at The Hague, Netherlands, during a pause at a conference devoted to Afghanistan. Although nothing of substance was discussed, the two promised to stay in touch, according to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The U.S. also handed the Iranian delegation a letter requesting its intercession in the case of three American citizens (private investigator Robert Levinson, freelance journalist Roxana Saberi and student Esha Momeni) being held in Iran.

For background, see the following CQ Researcher report [subscription required]: "U.S. Policy on Iran" (Nov. 16, 2007). Or purchase the CQ Researcher PDF.