Amid nuke talks, Iran digs in for long sanctions

Associated Press
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Michael Mann, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton speaks to the media in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. Iran and six world powers are back at the negotiating table eager to come to terms on a comprehensive nuclear deal but deeply divided on what it should look like. The two sides began meeting Tuesday in attempts to build on a first-step accord that temporarily curbs Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for some sanctions relief. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA (AP) — Even as Iran negotiates on a nuclear pact in exchange for an end to sanctions, the country's top leader is taking precautionary steps in case the talks fail.

As the nuclear talks entered a second day Wednesday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the government to create an "economy of resistance" to counter the sanctions.

The program requires the government to diversify Iran's exports, reduce dependence on sales of raw materials and promote knowledge-based high-tech industries.

A nuclear deal reached in November with six world powers has eased some sanctions but the core remains in place, including measures targeting Iran's oil exports, the pillar of its economy. Iran and the six countries began talks for a final deal in Vienna on Tuesday. Khamenei says he doubts talks will succeed.


Associated Press writer Ali Akbar Dareini contributed from Tehran.