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U.S. official: Sanctions on Iran working

Dec. 31, 2012 at 5:42 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- There appear to be signs Iran is interested in seeking a resolution to international concerns about its nuclear program, a U.S. administration official said.

In an interview Monday on Israeli Army Radio, Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen Cohen said, "We have recognized signs that Iran is interested in finding a solution through negotiations.

"The year 2012 was one of the hardest faced by the Islamic Republic," he said, noting "the painful economic situation in Iran will worsen if Tehran does not cooperate. ... It was a difficult year for the regime, especially on the economic front. We saw oil exports in Iran drop 50 percent and its currency also lost in value."

U.S. officials said they have seen indications in recent weeks Iran is interested in negotiations, Cohen said. Economic sanctions and U.S. pressure on Tehran appear to have greatly affected Iran, he said.

Cohen, who is undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department, cautioned however, "the window of opportunity will not remain open forever."

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