Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bush and Blair meet Iranian opposition

The Financial Times-US President George W. Bush and Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, have received separate background briefings from Iranian opposition activists, including one visitor to the White House on Tuesday who caused a storm earlier this month by reporting Iran had passed a law requiring Jews to wear special identification.

Contacts at such a high level with Iranian opposition activists are likely to raise concerns in Tehran while the US and UK lead diplomatic efforts to get Iran to abandon its nuclear fuel programme.

White House officials said Amir Taheri, a London-based former editor, was among a group of experts invited to discuss Iraq and the region with Mr Bush.

Mr Taheri is well known for his support of the war in Iraq and regime change in Iran.

,,,In London, a UK spokeswoman confirmed that Mr Blair had met Iranian opposition activists for a “background briefing”. She declined to say who had given the briefing, which she said was not a policy discussion.