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Oil not on table for Iranian nuke talks

May 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- U.S. officials slated to take part in nuclear negotiations with Iran in Baghdad aren't likely to back off sanctions on Iran's energy sector, officials said.

Baghdad hosts a second-round of multiparty talks Wednesday with Iran over its controversial nuclear sector. Tehran is said to want U.S. and European governments to ease restrictions on its energy sector in exchange for nuclear concessions, reports Bloomberg News.

U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg on condition of anonymity said negotiators were considering a deal to take enriched uranium from Iran, process it into fuel rods and ship it back to the country.

Iran, however, would have to make significant pledges regarding its commitment to a peaceful nuclear program in order to get any relief from Western governments, official said.

Trita Parsi, an expert on Iran and president of the National Iranian American Council, said the White House was taking a wait-and-see approach to the Baghdad talks.

"Instead of presenting a hypothetical American concession in return for a hypothetical Iranian concession, the White House is keeping quiet publicly," he said. "They'll go to table, and then come back to Congress and say this is what we got. If they get something significant, it's easier to spin it as a win and not focus on what they give away."

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