Condoleezza Rice’s little election year Surpries! visit to Iraq winds uptorpedoing six-party talks on Iran.
A meeting of world powers Friday on whether to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program was disrupted when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s flight was delayed, giving leaders little time to reach a consensus and making it unlikely [that Iran would be sanctioned].
The United States has led calls for sanctions against Iran, and even before the meeting was going ahead — without Rice — Russia warned against “extreme” measures in an indication of the reluctance to move decisively.
Plans for the session were thrown into question, however, after Rice’s flight from Iraq to London was delayed by about two hours because of mechanical problems on her C-17 military transport.
Sean McCormack, the State Department spokesman who was traveling with Rice, said she would join the talks in progress but that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would not be able to stay later than scheduled. For that reason, the six officials would not be able to finish their work and issue a statement about Iran, he said.