Iran said to seek direct talks with the US

“Iraq is a partner of the United States, and we are in regular conversations with Iraqi officials about a full range of issues of mutual interest, including Iran,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told the Times. “As we have repeatedly said, we are open to direct talks with Iran in order to resolve the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.”

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Congress is split about how to respond to the election of Rouhani, who is considered to be relatively moderate.

Almost a third of lawmakers wrote to Obama earlier this month urging him to “pursue the potential opportunity presented by Iran's recent presidential election by reinvigorating U.S. efforts to secure a negotiated nuclear agreement.” The House and Senate Foreign Affairs panels, however, are currently weighing new sanctions in a bid to choke off Iran's access to currency sources and precipitate an economic crisis forcing the country to shut down its alleged nuclear weapons program.

Iran says its program is solely for civilian purposes.

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