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News number: 9107111686

18:35 | 2012-10-09


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US Looks to Renew Iran Talks After Next Month Elections

TEHRAN (FNA)- The White House is looking to resume negotiations with Iran after US presidential elections, according to people familiar with the planning.

If Barack Obama is re-elected Nov 6, his administration will have only about five months until Iran becomes embroiled in its own presidential contest next spring. If Mitt Romney wins, the Obama team will have an even shorter period and both Iran and the US may feel constrained about signing a deal that might be repudiated by the next US president, AL-Monitor reported quoting unnamed sources in Washington.

Romney would likely need some time to review Iran policy and might not pick up where Obama left off - much as George W. Bush repudiated Bill Clinton's negotiating strategy with North Korea in 2000.

Iran and the US are in the midst of a nuclear row. The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States' espionage center at its embassy in Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.

Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for the other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the NPT would encourage the world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West's hardline stance on Tehran.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment. The United States and the European Union have ratcheted up their sanctions on Iran this year to force it to curb its nuclear program.

Iranian officials have always shrugged off the sanctions, saying that pressures make them strong and reinvigorate their resolve to further move towards self-sufficiency.

Thierry Coville of the Paris-based Institute of International and Strategic Relations confirms the claims of the Iranian officials, saying Iranians "largely agree" with the nuclear program and are willing to resist sanctions.

"The Western strategy of trying to make Iran boil over - in the hope that there will be a political change that will make Iran stop its nuclear program - is highly dubious," he said.

"Historically Iran is a country that has always wanted to resist Western pressure. We have to stop believing that the system of sanctions can be effective, except in impoverishing the worst-off a little more."