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Iran's Window for Nuclear Diplomacy Closing

The Iranian elite is already absorbed in pre-presidential election politicking and is in no hurry to resume nuclear talks as long as the offer on the table does not include significant sanctions relief, writes Mohammad Ali Shabani.
Seized highly corrosion-resistant valves are seen inside a warehouse in an unknown location in this handout picture provided by the Spanish police January 11, 2013. Spanish police arrested two men and seized the contents of a truck bound for Iran loaded with materials destined for use in the Islamic state's nuclear programme, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.The European Union has banned the sale of such material to Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking to develop a capability to make nuc

Although attention in the West remains focused on Iran’s nuclear program, talk among the Iranian elite has already turned toward Iranian presidential elections that could have a major impact on the current diplomatic impasse and the Islamic Republic’s relations with the United States.

On a just-concluded visit to Tehran, I talked to dozens of current and former officials, think-tank scholars and journalists. With more than five months to go until the polls, Iran is already abuzz with rumors about who is going to be the next president of the Islamic Republic — and the implications of that choice.

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