Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the decision to send a top envoy to
nuclear talks with Iran is a "strong signal" the United States is
serious about diplomacy with Tehran.
However, Rice says the move to send Under Secretary of State William Burns to
the talks Saturday in Geneva does not soften the key U.S. demand that Iran stop
She says she hopes the U.S. gesture will encourage Iran to accept an
international incentives package and halt its controversial nuclear work.
The attendance by Burns will mark a shift in U.S. policy.
administration has long insisted on shunning nuclear talks with Iran until it
stops enriching uranium.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says U.S. participation at the talks
is a positive development, and that he expects progress.