BAGHDAD, May 23 (UPI) -- An Iranian diplomat said Wednesday the West was not offering to ease economic sanctions enough to warrant curbing his country's nuclear program.
The lukewarm reception from the Iranian delegation got the negotiations on the nuclear issue in Baghdad off to a slow start.
The Baghdad talks, scheduled since a round in Istanbul in April, took on new momentum after International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said Tuesday Iranian officials signaled a willingness to accede to the agency's longstanding request for access to the secret facilities, The New York Times reported.
But Tehran expressed disappointment at what it saw as a one-sided offer that did not adequately dial back the economic sanctions that had been imposed against Iran.
"The response from the Iranian side is: 'What you are asking for is ... not what we agreed to in Istanbul,'" an Iranian diplomat close to the talks told the Christian Science Monitor.
Striking a deal to allow IAEA inspectors into Iranian nuclear sites is seen as a prelude to future talks on the trickier subject of halting Iran's uranium enrichment program. The Monitor said Iran had wanted concessions by both sides to be implemented simultaneously; however, the West told the Iranians the easing of sanctions would be "considered" after Iran agreed to the concessions the West was seeking.