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The story: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian’s recent remarks on possible direct talks with the US have divided hardliners in Tehran. While a number of conservatives have supported the new stance, some prominent hardliners have stated their firm opposition. Pro-reform voices have also welcomed Amir-Abdollahian’s comments. However, they are slamming conservatives for having put obstacles in the way of moderate former president Hassan Rouhani (2013-21) for holding talks with Washington while they now float the same approach.
The coverage: Addressing the indirect Iran-US talks in Vienna on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, Amir-Abdollahian stated on Jan. 24, “If we reach a point in the negotiations whereby a good agreement requires [direct] dialogue with the US, we will not ignore it.” The following day, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, voiced similar sentiments. These comments have angered some influential hardliners and supporters of conservative President Ebrahim Raisi...
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