Friday, May 4, 2007

Foreign Policy: Always Testy, this time Chesty

You know relationships are strained when something as simple as a 3-minute conversation between American and Iranian officials makes the front page of the New York Times.

What did they talk about? No one really knows. But it was important (we're told), if nothing else simply because of the symbolism.

The real attention-grabber, though, is below. Apparently we have uncovered a wrinkle in our foreign policy relations... Some say it should take cover. Quickly.

"Ms. Rice had planned to approach (Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr) Mottaki at dinner Thursday evening, held by Egypt’s foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. But Mr. Mottaki left the dinner before Ms. Rice arrived — and apparently before eating.

Iranian officials said that Mr. Mottaki was not avoiding Ms. Rice; rather, they said, he left because he considered the red dress worn by one of the event’s entertainers to be too revealing, according to news services.

Today, Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman, sounded dubious about that explanation. 'I’m not sure which woman he was afraid of, the one in the red dress or the secretary of state,' he said."

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