- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Khalilzad to meet with Iranian officials

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq has been given permission to meet with officials from Iran, a country with no diplomatic relations with the United States, the State Department said.

Spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday that Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has a “very narrow mandate” that deals “specifically with issues related to Iraq.”

The United States has not had regular diplomatic relations with Iran since the Islamic revolution in 1979, and President Bush has called Iran part of an “axis of evil” along with deposed President Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and North Korea.

Mr. McCormack, however, played down the development, which was reported first in Newsweek magazine, saying there had been previous cases where U.S. officials had engaged Iran, including during talks on rebuilding Afghanistan.



JORDAN

Zarqawi clan disowns al Qaeda leader

AMMAN — Hundreds of clan members of terror leader Abu Musab Zarqawi publicly disowned him yesterday despite anger from his al Qaeda in Iraq, which said they will face God’s judgment for abandoning him.

The members of the Bani Hassan tribe published a full-page letter in Jordanian newspapers pronouncing their loyalty to King Abdullah II.

BRITAIN

Man, 19, charged with killing cop

LONDON — A 19-year-old man has been charged with fatally shooting a female police officer as she investigated reports of an armed robbery, British police said yesterday.

Yusuf Jama will appear before magistrates today to face a charge of killing Sharon Beshenivsky, who died outside a travel agency in Bradford, northern England, Nov. 18.

The teenager, from North Kensington in West London, is accused of robbery and firearms offenses. Police are searching for two accomplices in the killing.

Officer Beshenivsky, a 38-year-old mother of three children and two stepchildren, was the 36th police officer to die while on duty in England, Wales and Scotland in the past 20 years and only the fourth woman since 1984.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Bank employee held in record heist

DUBLIN — A Northern Ireland bank employee whose family was held hostage as part of the British-record robbery of a Belfast bank was arrested yesterday as a potential suspect.

Chris Ward, 24, and a 22-year-old woman were being held at the Northern Ireland police’s central interrogation center in Antrim, west of Belfast. Police did not identify Mr. Ward by name, but a detective familiar with the investigation into the $50 million robbery Dec. 20 confirmed that Mr. Ward, an employee of Northern Bank, was arrested.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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