Excerpted from the Guardian:
With the November election in his sights, Barack Obama has backed away from his promise last year to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions during his first year in the White House.
His campaign has stopped mentioning Ahmadinejad by name, and noting that there must be "preparations" for such an encounter.
"He wants to talk to the Iranian leadership," Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor and Obama supporter told Fox television yesterday. "But he wants diplomatic preparation before doing that."
On Tuesday, Obama's foreign policy adviser, Susan Rice, told CNN that he did not necessarily mean he would meet Ahmadinejad when he offered to open talks with Iran. "He hasn't named who that leader will be," she said. "It may, in fact be that by the middle of next year, Ahmadinejad is long gone...." (OOPS!)
The emerging position is much more guarded than Obama's pledge during a YouTube debate last July to meet the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea without preconditions during his first year in the White House.... Read in full.