US urges Iran to join Iraq talks
By FT reporters
Published: April 22 2007 22:21 | Last updated: April 22 2007 22:21
Condoleezza Rice is urging Iran to join her at a high-level conference on the future of Iraq next week, signalling that Washington is now ready for a serious exchange of views with Tehran after several months of resisting Iran’s advances in the region.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the US secretary of state said it would be a “missed opportunity” if Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran’s foreign minister, did not attend the minister-level meeting to be hosted by Egypt.
Ms Rice denied that the Bush administration’s Iran policy had ever been directed at regime change, insisting that the aim was to “have a change in regime behaviour”.
Washington’s need to secure the right regional environment for its eventual withdrawal from Iraq is growing ever more acute as its “surge” of extra troops is failing to contain the violence.