Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vali Nasr in Iran

Vali Nasr
Photo published by Tabnak . 12 May 2009

Iran’s news website Tabnak is reporting that Vali Nasr, an Iran expert and an assistant to Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is visiting Tehran. Tabnak is linking Nasr’s visit to Iran to Roxana Saberi’s release from prison [Tabnak, 12 May 2009].

No independent confirmation of Nasr’s visit to Iran or his role in Saberi’s freedom were available.

's report also indicates that Nasr's visit was arranged by Majlis speaker Ali Larijani and former Majlis speaker Haddad Adel, hinting that they obtained Ayatollah Khamenei's approval for the visit. The article also claims that President Ahmadinejad was kept in dark and was not told about the visit until after Nasr arrived in Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki confirmed Vali Nasr's visit to Tehran. Responding to a reporter's question on Nasr's visit, Mottaki said in Tehran that "Iranians anywhere in the world can visit their country." [Aftab Yazd, 14 May 2009].
UPDATE II: ISNA reports that US Department of State has denied reports that Nasr has visited Iran [14 May 2009].

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