GENEVA - Averting an immediate showdown with Western powers, Iranian negotiators here indicated Wednesday that Tehran would back off threats to restart its nuclear processing activities in exchange for a promise the nation will receive a comprehensive aid proposal from Britain, France and Germany by the end of July.
The agreement, which is tentative until accepted by Iranian government leaders in Tehran, would mean both sides can at least temporarily step back from threats that, if acted on, could have resulted in a confrontation between Iran and the Western European nations, which are backed by the United States.
Now, however, the Europeans must come up with a package that goes further than their previous offers, which have been rejected by the Iranians. That will also require a formula that satisfies the Americans, who have been silent partners but key to the discussions. The United States has no relations with Iran but has been in constant touch with the Europeans on the talks.
Terror threat closes U.S. offices in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia - The United States closed its embassy and all other diplomatic offices in Indonesia today, citing a security threat.
The decision comes a week after Australia urged its citizens to avoid traveling to Indonesia because of a warning by police in Jakarta about possible suicide bombings, particularly at embassies, international schools, office buildings and shopping malls.
Palestinians may get more U.S. money directly
WASHINGTON - The Palestinian Authority could receive more direct aid from the United States, a Bush administration official and congressional aides said Wednesday ahead of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with President Bush today.
Abbas is hoping Bush will reaffirm his commitment to the internationally backed road map peace plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and creating a Palestinian state. Abbas is concerned that U.S. support for Israel's unilateral plan to withdraw from Gaza has diverted attention from the road map.
On Wednesday, the Palestinian leader sought support on Capitol Hill, hoping to convince lawmakers that he was serious about democracy, peace, and reform. Congress has approved $275-million in Palestinian aid for this year and is considering Bush's request for an additional $150-million.