Iran

Bipartisan Push Calls for Direct Diplomacy in Iran by US

Rather than waiting for sanctions

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Former US officials called on the White House Wednesday to initiate direct talks with Iran over its nuclear program instead of relying solely on sanctions to persuade Tehran to change course.

The 35 prominent ex-diplomats, military officers and other officials from both political parties issued a report urging President Barack Obama to renew diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis and take advantage of economic sanctions that have hit Iran hard.

"The United States should now dedicate as much energy and creativity to negotiating directly with Iran as it has to assembling a broad international coalition to pressure and isolate Iran," said the report from the Iran Project, a non-partisan group.