Thursday, April 9, 2009


Posted: Thursday, April 09, 2009
by Domenico Montanaro
From NBC’s Kristin Wilson and Domenico Montanaro

Here’s a bit of a game of U.S.-Iranian diplomatic chess.

No sooner than Iran was invited to the table to negotiate, did its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claim his country had made great progress on nuclear enrichment.

Then the State Department today called charges against American journalist Roxana Saberi "baseless and without foundation." The department is "deeply concerned about the announcement," spokesman Robert Wood said, dismissing Iranian assertions that Saberi has admitted her crimes. He gave them "not much credence at all."

"We'd like to see her released as a humanitarian gesture," Wood added.

Regarding Iran's nuclear enrichment program, Wood said Iran "can send a positive message by agreeing to follow protocols" and suspend their enrichment program. "If it's for civilian purposes, like they say, why don't they comply with the additional protocols?" he asked.

Wood also said the administration is still pursuing a diplomatic resolution through talks with Ahmadinejad.

"We want to talk,” Wood said. “We want for them to reciprocate."

‘Working to get a response’ on North KoreaState Department spokesman Robert Wood said "we have to get it right" when it comes to dealing with North Korea.

Administration officials and members of the U.N. Security Council are still engaged in discussions for a response to the North Korea missile test, but Wood said, "There is resolve in the council to bring North Korea back to the table."
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He also addressed the issue of China's support for North Korea, saying, "China understands the significance of this. We're working to get a response."
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