U.S., Iran to meet over nuclear weapons

The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday night that it will attend U.N. Security Council discussions with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, according to the Associated Press. No specific date for these talks has been set.

This marks a change in protocol from the Bush administration, which attended only one such U.N. meeting with Iran. During his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush declared Iran to be an enemy, part of an “Axis of Evil” along with Iraq and North Korea. In early 2007 Bush defended a Pentagon program to take out Iranian operatives in Iraq.

During the last few years of his administration, there was speculation that the U.S. would invade Iran. Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was willing to meet with the Obama administration if its intentions to end hostility were honest, according to Iranian government television.

Iran became a key U.S. ally following a 1953 coup engineered by Britain and the U.S. that ousted Iran’s democratic government. The present Islamic government came to power in the revolution of 1979. Americans at the U.S. embassy in Tehran were taken hostage, marking the beginning of bad relations.

Follow the BBC’s timeline of U.S.-Iranian relations through November 2008.

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