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Rouhani Hopes Biden Unravels Policies  11/25 06:37

   Iran's president reiterated his hope Wednesday that U.S. President-elect Joe 
Biden would return America's Iran policy to where he left things as vice 
president four years ago, state TV reported, rejoining Tehran's nuclear deal 
with world powers.

   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president reiterated his hope Wednesday that 
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden would return America's Iran policy to where he 
left things as vice president four years ago, state TV reported, rejoining 
Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

   Hassan Rouhani said that if Iran and the U.S. could find a path back to "the 
situation on Jan 20, 2017," President Donald Trump's inauguration day, "it 
could be a huge solution for many issues and problems."

   Under Trump, tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated, pushing the 
two sides to the brink of war earlier this year.

   One of Trump's signature foreign policy moves was unilaterally withdrawing 
from the nuclear accord in 2018, which had limited Iran's uranium enrichment in 
exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Trump has since piled punishing 
sanctions on Iran that have devastated the country's economy and crashed its 
currency.

   Rouhani called on Biden to "explicitly condemn" Trump's maximum pressure 
campaign as well as "compensate for wrong policies pursued over the past four 
years," a possible reference to the massive financial losses Iran suffered as a 
result of Trump's sanctions campaign.

   In an effort to pressure Europe to find a way around the sanctions, Iran has 
gradually abandoned the limits of the nuclear deal. Iran's enriched uranium 
stockpile, which would have been under 300 kilograms (660 pounds) in the deal, 
now stands at over 2,440 kilograms (5,380 pounds), according to the latest 
report by U.N. inspectors.

   That's potentially enough material to make at least two nuclear weapons, 
experts say, if Iran chose to pursue the bomb. Iran long has maintained its 
nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

   Rouhani, a relative moderate, along with Iran's foreign minister, have 
signaled the country's willingness to roll back its enrichment and return to 
negotiations.

   Although Biden appears unlikely to lift crippling sanctions on Iran in his 
"first steps" in office, as Rouhani demanded in his Wednesday speech, the 
president-elect has indicated he would return to the nuclear deal if Iran first 
comes back into compliance.

 
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