U.S. Talks With Iran Exemplify Bush's New Approaches - washingtonpost.com
With his moves last week involving Iraq, Iran and North Korea, President Bush accelerated a shift toward centrist foreign policies, a change that has cheered Democrats, angered some Republicans and roiled the presidential campaign. Bush sent his first high-level emissary to sit in on nuclear talks with Iran, which ended without agreement Saturday. Also in the past two days, the president agreed for the first time to set a "time horizon" for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and authorized Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to join North Korean diplomats at six-party talks about ending that country's nuclear weapons program. The maneuvers underscore how much the Bush administration has changed since 2002, when the president proclaimed Iraq, Iran and North Korea to be an "axis of evil." Now Bush is pushing forward with diplomatic gestures toward Iran and North Korea while breaking with a long-held position on troop withdrawals in the interest of harmony with the Iraqi government.