Austrian president poised for rare Western visit to Iran

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By Michael Shields VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian President Heinz Fischer has 'in principle' accepted an invitation to visit Iran, his office said on Wednesday, in what would be the first trip for many years by a Western head of state. Under President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who was elected last year, Iran has started to improve relations with the West by engaging with world powers over its disputed nuclear program. It remains under sanctions, however, and a visit by Fischer, perhaps accompanied by business leaders, would be fraught with political significance as the United States presses Western countries to limit commerce with Tehran. Fischer stood side by side with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres this week as Peres urged Western countries to keep up the pressure on Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.