Richardson: I'm 'dubious' Iran will behave

Iran behavior concerns linger: Bill Richardson
Iran behavior concerns linger: Bill Richardson   

Former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson said Monday he was "dubious" that negotiations over Iran's nuclear program would move the country toward more responsible behavior in the region and lead to a more manageable, moderate situation in the Middle East.

"I had wanted these negotiations to include Iran's behavior," Richardson told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "You've got to see what the details are, but I support negotiating with bad regimes, but I want to see a good deal rather than any deal."

A good outcome would see Iran join a community of nations and reorient its behavior toward Israel and change tack on its support for rebels in Yemen and the government of Bashar Assad in Syria, said Richardson, a 2008 Democratic presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico.

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After nearly a decade of diplomacy, negotiators at the Iran nuclear talks were nearing a historic deal that would curb the country's atomic program in return for sanctions relief, two diplomats told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Richardson, who is also a former U.S. energy secretary, said he was particularly concerned about Iran's demands that the U.N. lift an arms embargo against Iran on conventional weapons as part of a final deal.

"When you take off the arms embargo on Iran imposed by the U.N. Security Council, which says you cannot export any arms or sell any arms, this would mean from oil revenue the sanctions relief would bring, Iran could purchase or sell conventional weapons, ballistic missiles," he said.

"Does this mean Iran is going to be able to arm the rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah, Hamas? Are they going to be able to help Assad in Syria? There's some positive elements in the agreement, but I want to see something on Iran's behavior," he said.

As for the impact on the world economy, Richardson said he believes crude prices would plunge as the lifting of sanctions would allow Iran to put more of the oil into a market that is already oversupplied by about 2.6 million barrels per day.

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