Gates called for direct talks with Iran.

President Bush has nominated former CIA Director Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld. WSJ reports, “In the summer of 2004, Gates and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski co-chaired a task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations that argued for opening a dialogue with Iran. The task force’s report [“Iran: Time for a New Approach“] contended that the lack of American engagement with Iran had harmed American interests, and advocated direct talks with the Iranians.”

UPDATE: The Federation of American Scientists notes Gates’ Iran/Contra ties: “Owing to his senior status in the CIA, Gates was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities.”