There has been a flurry of decidedly unpublicized diplomatic activity ahead of the next round of Iran nuclear talks in Baghdad on May 23, much of it taking place in the shadows.
The European Union’s Helga Schmid and Iran’s Ali Bagheri -- the no. 2 nuclear negotiators for the P5+1 and Iran, respectively -- met quietly this past week to begin preparing the agenda for the Baghdad meeting. In keeping with the conviction that progress can be more easily achieved outside the glare of the spotlights, European diplomatic sources who confirmed the meeting would only say that it did not take place in Brussels.
“Schmid and Bagheri are in regular contact to prepare for the next round of talks to be held on May 23 in Baghdad, as agreed in Istanbul,” a spokesperson for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told me last week.