Iran on Sunday confirmed it will attend this week’s conference on Iraq in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Iran’s delegation will be headed by Iran’s foreign minister. There is a strong possibility of bilateral talks with the United States. U.S. Secretary of State Condolezza Rice is also attending. All of Iraq’s other neighbors as well as Egypt, Bahrain and representatives of the big five U.N. Security Council members will be there. President Bush has indicated that Rice might have bilateral conversations at the conference with Iraq in an interview on PBS’s “The Charlie rose Show.” Shiites now lead the Iraqi government and Iran has considerable influence among the Shiite parties in Iraq.
This may be an opening for talks among the attendees which could lead to a lessening of the violence in Iraq. President Bush has stated on PBS that Rice could have bilateral conversations at the conference. The United States cut diplomatic ties with Iran in 1979. Any beginning to reduce the violence in Iraq must be applauded and encouraged. Sources: BBC & CNN news.