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By Amanda Gomez
Iran is prepared to pursue nuclear diplomacy with world powers before or after next month’s presidential election in the Islamic Republic its chief negotiator said.
Candidate in the presidential race Saeed Jalili said Iran is ready to continue talks with the world powers “whenever they are ready, before or after the presidential election in Iran.” Jalili said that talks will take place soon but supplied no date.
He reiterated that Iran would never abandon its right to enrich uranium. Major powers went to Tehran to suspend its profit-making activities to reassure the world that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. Iran denies having such a goal.
Moves will not be made in respect to the decade-old standoff until Iranians vote on June 14th for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successor is put in power.
Jalili, who officially declared he would run for President Saturday, is one of several conservatives who are known to have loyalty to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who decides nuclear policy.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out any military action if diplomacy and energy sanctions fail to motivate Iran to suspend its sensitive nuclear work. In the latest measure to prevent the Iranian atomic program, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted an exchange house and trading company based in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.