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Ex-CIA officer urges contact with Iran

Press TV -- A former CIA officer William Daugherty has urged the United States to open direct lines of communication with the Iranian government.

"A lack of communication with the Iranian government could make an unstable situation even more dangerous," Daugherty observed at a gathering of students at the University of South Carolina Beaufort's South Campus.

"Compared to the Cold War era, when a hotline connected Washington to Moscow, the US doesn't have contact with Tehran today," he was quoted by as saying.

Daugherty, a professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, urged that a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) be prepared by the US each year on Iran.

The latest NIE report on Iran, released on December 3, 2007, acknowledged that Tehran's nuclear activities are peaceful, seriously undermining the Bush administration's persistent position that the the Islamic Republic is using the program as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons.

Diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States were broken in 1980, with face-to-face enounters almost non-existent during the past three decades, except on rare occasions when such topics of mutual interest as Afghanistan and Iraq required formal exchanges.

Note: Dr. William Daugherty was among the Americans who were held hostage in Iran from 1979 to 1981.

... Payvand News - 3/9/08 ... --

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