Having watched FDR on TV during the Great Depression, Joe Biden now thinks that the US Assistant Secretary of State was visiting Iran.
“After seven years, in which our senior diplomatic personnel were not allowed to make a single contact with Iranians, the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran,” he said. “The Assistant Secretary of State as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the President of the United States.”
Not so, as Aaron Burns notes,
In point of fact, the one “meeting” that has taken place was in Geneva, Switzerland, when Under Secretary of State William Burns sat in on a discussion between Iranian representatives and the other “P5 +1″ political directors involved in nuclear talks. The meeting, while a first, was not a negotiation; Burns was there merely as an observer, and had no formal role or talks with the Iranians.
So, point by point: Burns was not sent to Tehran; he did not go to Tehran; and there was no such instruction from the President.
Why the story from Biden? Turns out, he was taking a characteristic detour from his prepared text.
Biden: off the teleprompter, and out of his mind.