JERUSALEM, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama sought to restore diplomatic ties with Iran shortly after coming into office, in a bid to peacefully curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions, the Israeli Ma'ariv daily reported Sunday, citing Western diplomats.
According to the report, efforts to gradually re-establish bilateral ties, which were cut off following the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, were launched in the summer of 2009. Reaching out to countries with which Washington has no official relations is part of Obama's overall plan to revamp U.S. foreign policy.
Western diplomats, speaking with Ma'ariv on condition of anonymity, said that American envoys held at least two clandestine meetings with their Iranian counterparts to this end, with Israel objecting to the move.
One of the meetings was reportedly between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, who met on the sidelines of discussions between the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN security council plus Germany), and the Islamic Republic in Geneva in October 2009.
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