We understand that diplomats like to talk a lot with other diplomats, but this is ridiculous…
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to speak with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki twice on Friday, pursuing him both inside and outside the gala dinner here at the Ritz Carlton in Manama. But Mottaki deliberately avoided contact with her both times.
“If he comes to the dinner, I’ll probably see him. But he doesn’t talk to me,” Clinton told The Cable in our exclusive interview just hours before the event.
Turns out she was right. Everybody at the opening dinner for the 2010 IISS Manama Security Dialogue, where Clinton gave the speech, was watching to see if she and Mottaki would trade words. After all, they were seated only five seats apart. Clinton went out on a limb twice to try to make it happen, but the end result was only an unintelligible mutter from the Iranian leader in the general direction of the secretary.
Clinton’s first attempt came just as the dinner ended. All the leaders sitting at the head table were shaking each other’s hands. Mottaki was shaking hands with Jordan’s King Abdullah II when Clinton called out to him.
“As I was leaving and they were telling me, ‘Hurry up, you have to get to the plane,’ I got up to leave and he was sitting several seats down from me and he was shaking people’s hands, and he saw me and he stopped and began to turn away,” Clinton told reporters on the plane ride home.
“And I said, ‘Hello, minister!’ And he just turned away,” said Clinton, adding that Mottaki seemed to mutter something in Farsi but was clearly trying to avoid her.
Isn’t it a bit unseemly for the American Secretary of State to be stalking Iran’s foreign minister? We should be showing them the high hat, not the other way around, no?
People seem to think Hillary is doing a good job at State. We’re not convinced.