The Iranian government is slowly edging closer to revising its hardline positions and entering into real negotiations regarding its nuclear program, according to a senior official who is in charge of U.S. economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, The Times of Israel reported Monday, December 31. U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said that, economically, 2012 was one of the most difficult years for Iran since the 1979 revolution, noting that the country’s oil exports had decreased by 50 percent. Over the past year, Cohen said, and especially in recent weeks, there have been signs that Iran is interested in finding a solution through negotiations. U.S. pressure on the Islamic Republic to return to talks has been a great influence, but the window for negotiations will not remain open for long, he added.