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Middle East Digest - June 19, 2009

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Washington, DC
June 19, 2009


The Middle East Digest provides text and audio from the Daily Press Briefing. For the full briefings, please visit daily press briefings.

From the Daily Press Briefing of June 19, 2009

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QUESTION: The British today called in Iran’s ambassador to complain about the comments from the Supreme Leader. Have you sent the Swiss in, or I mean, have the Swiss called in the Iranian ambassador to complain on behalf of the United States?

MR. KELLY: I’m not aware of that – first, of the fact that they called in – that the British called in the Iranians.

QUESTION: Well, how about the Iranians at their Interests Section here?

MR. KELLY: I’m not aware that there were any calls made.

QUESTION: Is there any – is there any contact between the State Department and those people?

MR. KELLY: I just – I’m not aware that there is.

QUESTION: In general – forget about the election.

MR. KELLY: I just don’t have that information, Matt.

QUESTION: Well, could you take the question of whether we’ve talked to the – I think the Pakistanis are the protecting power on behalf of Iran –

MR. KELLY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- take the question of whether we’ve called them in or whether they’ve come here and –

MR. KELLY: Yeah. If we have that information, I’ll be happy to share it.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Do you know when they called the Swiss ambassador in to complain about U.S. interference, apparently, there was a specific complaint they had about words of one of our leaders, officials. Do you know – can you give us any information about that, what specifically they complained about?

MR. KELLY: I can confirm that the Swiss were called in, as were a number of other nations. I think, in general, what we want to do is keep the focus on what’s going on in Iran. We are – this is not about us. It’s about Iran. It’s about the will of the Iranian people being respected.

QUESTION: But in this case, it is about the United States, because it was a specific complaint about the United States.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, but we want to keep the focus on what’s going on in Iran. I will just confirm that, yes, our Swiss protecting power was called in.

QUESTION: Just that one time?

MR. KELLY: Just – as far as I know. No – well, I don’t know if it was just that one time, but they were called in a specific --

QUESTION: You don’t know how many times then?

MR. KELLY: I do not know how many times.


QUESTION: Has Dennis Ross moved yet? Has he packed his bags? Has he gone over to the White House yet?

MR. KELLY: Dennis Ross is still here. I’ve been in communication with him. He’s still actively advising the Secretary.

QUESTION: Any idea when the moving van’s coming?

MR. KELLY: I don’t have any information about anything regarding Dennis’s future right now.

QUESTION: Can you tell us anything about his meeting this morning with the Israeli foreign minister?

MR. KELLY: No, I am not aware of that meeting.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Just – sorry.

MR. KELLY: Yeah, uh-huh.

QUESTION: Just from the question I sent to you this morning about the Uighurs, is it accurate to say that the Chinese had access to them in 2002 to interrogate them at Guantanamo?

MR. KELLY: Let me see. Hold on a second. Let me see if I have something for you on that. We’ll get back to you, okay? I just don’t have it right now.

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