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Former U.S. Diplomat Meets Iran's Supreme Leader

Jeff Feltman, the UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs (second from left), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (center), and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (second from right) meet in Tehran on August 29.
The Nonaligned Movement summit is off and running in Tehran -- and it's all being documented on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's Twitter feed. Though concentrated mainly on his remarks at the summit, his feed (mostly in English) has also included some pictures, one of which shows the supreme leader meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Interestingly, seated just to the secretary-general's right is UN Under Secretary for Political Affairs Jeff Feltman. Until May 2012, Feltman served as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs in the U.S. State Department, and was the point person for U.S. diplomacy on Iran.

Laura Rosen has more over at "Al-Monitor":

Feltman, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, met with Iran’s Supreme Leader as part of the entourage accompanying UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for meetings in Tehran. Ban traveled to Iran against the wishes of the US and Israel to attend the non-aligned movement summit.

American officials downplayed the rare meeting between even an ex-US official and Iran’s vehemently anti-American Supreme Leader, pointing out that Feltman doesn’t work for the US government anymore.

Feltman “is doin’ his new job,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told Al-Monitor Wednesday when asked about the meeting.

Asked if Ban or Feltman conveyed any message from the United States to Iran’s leadership, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Al-Monitor: “Nope.”

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