The conference centre was cleared of alcohol, a prayer room prepared and female officials advised to dress with a special touch of modesty.When Iranís negotiators are in town, the challenge of hosting them without offending their fragile sensibilities follows in their wake.
These black-clad, silver-haired men came to Istanbul yesterday to do verbal battle with the worldís leading powers. With hardened realism, a diplomat warned beforehand that a wise observer would set his sights low.
Nonetheless, Iran is back at the negotiating table, formally meeting its adversaries for the first time in more than a year. Not only is the Islamic Republic talking again, but its leaders have quietly dropped a raft of preconditions and begun discussing their nuclear ambitions.