Iran's foreign minister invited the United States and other members of the UN Security Council to dinner Thursday night, his nation's latest high-profile attempt to avert more economic sanctions over its nuclear program.
Western diplomats called it a rare move for a visiting dignitary such as Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to host a dinner for all the council's 15 member nations, each of which was expected to send a representative.
In most if not all cases, diplomats said, nations were sending a senior official, not the top-ranking ambassador, to the dinner.
But the occasion still serves as one of the highest-ranking contacts in recent years between the US and Iran, which lack formal relations. Alejandro Wolff, the US deputy ambassador to the UN, was to attend.