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US setting up online embassy to reach Iranians

[Perhaps we should set up our own U.S. People's Embassy to Iran online, just in case the other one behaves anything like the rest of the U.S. State Department.]

By BRADLEY KLAPPER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is setting up an Internet-based embassy to reach out to Iranians hoping to broaden their understanding of the United States.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the "virtual embassy in Tehran" will be online by the end of the year.

She told the BBC's Persian-language service Wednesday the site will aim to answer questions on traveling and studying in the U.S.

Clinton said she wants to increase student visas for Iranians hoping to study at American schools.

The U.S. hasn't had an embassy in Iran since breaking off diplomatic relations shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran, likewise, has no embassy in Washington.

Clinton said reaching out to Iranians made sense because U.S. efforts to reach out to the government haven't been successful.


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