Saturday, 5 May 2007

Lady in red brings abrupt end to US-Iran gala dinner date...

From today's Independent:

'It was billed as a chance for rapprochement between two countries - Iran and the United States - which have been estranged for almost three decades.

The distinguished guests had gathered for a beachside gala dinner on Thursday evening in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Such events are where the real business of diplomacy is often done - in this case on the sidelines of a conference on Iraq attended by foreign ministers of 50 countries.

The hosts had put on a feast of langoustine and beef, served with wine at the Sheraton hotel. A violinist was playing background music from the stage. Enter the Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki. The first thing he noticed was that he had been seated at the same table as the American Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Opposite her, in fact.

He then noticed the violinist, who was dressed in a long red evening dress and wrapped in a stole. Moments later - before Ms Rice arrived - he flounced out.

Was it because of the "scantily clad" violinist in the sleeveless red dress, as the Iranians are said to have complained?

Was it because of the seating plan, after the Iranians had made it clear that the Foreign Minister was not ready to talk to the head of the American delegation? Or was it the alcohol on the table?

The incident left other guests at Ms Rice's table, including the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, bemused.

"I don't know which woman he was afraid of, the woman in the red dress or the Secretary of State," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said wryly yesterday.'

For the complete story, go to: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article2514302.ece

1 comment:

FilmNoir23 said...

As soon as I heard this, I thought of you...the reports I saw on CNN here yesterday were strange...I almost got the feeling that the "Woman in Red" was a plant or sign to the Iranians meant to illicit the exact response that took place. Like they knew he'd walk out if a "Woman in Red" was present. Very peculiar to say the least, don't you think?