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U.S. Withdraws July 4th Invite to Iranian Diplomats

By Glenn Kessler
So much for "hot-dog diplomacy." The White House announced today that it had withdrawn invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend Fourth of July festivities at U.S. embassies around the world.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations for nearly three decades, but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton authorized the invitations as a way of reaching out to the Islamic Republic. But U.S. officials said no Iranian diplomats thus far had responded to the invitations.

"July Fourth allows us to celebrate the freedom and the liberty we enjoy," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom to assemble peacefully. Freedom of the press. So I don't think it's surprising that nobody's signed up to come."

Gibbs added: "Given the events of the past many days, those invitations will no longer be extended."

During a news conference on Wednesday, President Obama had indicated the invitations were still being extended. Asked if the July 4th offer still stood, Obama responded: "That's a choice the Iranians are going to have to make."

Posted at 3:47 PM ET on Jun 24, 2009  | Category:  Foggy Bottom
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President Obama is totally right. He extended the courtesy and now it's up to the Iranian govt. With the Iranian customs and beliefs (of which Americans have no clue about), the President is handling it all so well. We have one smart, awesome President - finally!! We should have confidence in our President and give him our support.

Posted by: MrsLfromTexas | June 25, 2009 9:20 AM

So, I wonder why Obama and the White House did not extend the fourth of July festivities to the freedom fighters of Iran?

Posted by: magolya | June 24, 2009 10:33 PM

In the long line of absolutely bad ideas Obama has acted upon, Iran and "reaching out" was par for the Course in disasters costing people lives and jobs.

Obama is soooo over here with the people, so why not just accept how people feel and step out?
Why flood populatiry polls with acorns, that no one believes anyway, and simply resign instead.

He wants to be the Supreme Leader as bad as the Iranian guy.

Posted by: dottydo | June 24, 2009 9:24 PM

I think that the Obama Administration made a very big mistake by having Dennis Ross at the State department. I feel as he messed up with the Iran Initiative Policy and now he is asked to resign!
How about the consequences for Iranian people and the U.S. interest?
How benefited from that –think hard, please?

Posted by: hayatCyrus | June 24, 2009 4:24 PM

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