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Cheney rejected Iran concessions

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070118/ap_on_go_pr_wh/britain_us_iran Report: Cheney rejected Iran concessions Thu Jan 18, 5:06 PM ET LONDON - An Iranian offer to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19, 2007
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070118/ap_on_go_pr_wh/britain_us_iran

      Report: Cheney rejected Iran concessions

      Thu Jan 18, 5:06 PM ET

      LONDON - An Iranian offer to help the United States
      stabilize Iraq and end its military support for
      Hezbollah and Hamas was rejected by Vice President
      Dick Cheney in 2003, a former top State Department
      official told the British Broadcasting Corp.

      The U.S. State Department was open to the offer, which
      came in an unsigned letter sent shortly after the
      American invasion of Iraq, Lawrence Wilkerson, former
      Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, told
      BBC's Newsnight in a program broadcast Wednesday
      night. But, Wilkerson said, Cheney vetoed the deal.

      "We thought it was a very propitious moment" to strike
      a deal, Wilkerson said. "But as soon as it got to the
      White House, and as soon as it got to the vice
      president's office, the old mantra of 'We don't talk
      to evil' ... reasserted itself."

      A spokesman for the State Department said Thursday he
      wasn't aware of any letter from the Iranians to the
      U.S. government in 2003.

      "Far as I know, there's never been an offer from the
      Iranian Government on those kinds of concerns," said
      Tom Casey, the state department's deputy spokesman.

      Wilkerson said that, in return for its cooperation,
      Tehran asked Washington to lift sanctions and to
      dismantle the Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian opposition
      group which has bases in Iraq.

      Iran also offered to increase the transparency of its
      nuclear program, according to Wilkerson.

      Wilkerson has been a frequent critic of the Bush
      administration in general and Cheney in particular,
      holding the vice president responsible for the
      mistreatment of detainees and the failure of Iraq's
      postwar planning.
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