Hardline newspaper report sends Iran foreign minister to hospital
DUBAI (REUTERS) - Iran's foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator went to hospital with pains brought on by a hardline newspaper quoting him as saying President Hassan Rouhani's phone call with President Barack Obama was a mistake.
Mr Mohammad Javad Zarif's brief visit to hospital is a pointer to the strength and possible rancour of the debate within Iran over the speed and extent to which the Islamic Republic should attempt to patch up its many quarrels with the West and the United States in particular.
Mr Zarif is to lead his country's negotiating team in talks with six major world powers in Geneva next week, the first round of negotiations since Rouhani's election in June breathed new hope into decade-old talks on Iran's nuclear programme.
Iranian Parliament speaker and former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani described the talks as a "window of opportunity", telling reporters in Geneva the two sides should focus on confidence-building.