Obama To Wrap Up Iran’s Nuclear Issue?

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Former high-ranking officials have pinned their hopes on the Obama administration to take a creative approach toward Iran’s nuclear issue.

Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said on Tuesday that he was optimistic that the US President-elect Barack Obama would adopt a new policy on Iran’s nuclear activities, AP reported.

“I hope that the Obama administration in the United States will be more imaginative” on the issue than its predecessors, Blix said on the sidelines of the Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe.

Obama had said in his campaign that he would engage in direct talks with Iran, a promise made in line with his slogan to bring change to the US foreign policy.

Former US defense secretary William Perry also said that the new government may break the ice between Washington and Moscow, leading to strong cooperation to settle the dispute over Iran’s nuclear issue.

“With a new administration in the United States coming into office, there is an opportunity to break that downward spiral,” Perry said. “If that can happen, then we can start working together cooperatively on a whole set of problems,” including the Iranian nuclear issue.

Washington and Moscow are at loggerheads over Russia’s opposition to a US plan to deploy 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic in order to counter conceivable threats from countries the Bush administration considers as its foes – such as Iran.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, believes that the US plans threaten Russian security and rejects White House claims against Iran as ‘baseless’.

Igor Ivanov, former Russian foreign minister also showed an upbeat opinion of Obama’s promise, hoping that the new administration could ‘breathe a new life into the negotiation process’.

In a Sunday interview, Obama, however, said that he would pursue ‘tough but direct diplomacy’ with Iran to dissuade the country from its enrichment activities.

Obama’s election has raised the prospect of a US-Iran reconciliation but his Sunday remarks suggest that he is already backing down on his slogan of ‘Change We Need’ and ‘a clean break from the Bush administration’s policies’.

Washington think tanks have advised Obama to start direct talks with Iran over its long disputed nuclear program.