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April 19, 2014

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Amid nuke talks, Iran digs in for long sanctions

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 | 5:51 a.m.

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.

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Associated Press writer Ali Akbar Dareini contributed from Tehran.