TEHRAN — May 23 talks in Baghdad between Iran and world powers focused on Tehran's nuclear programme will likely not resolve all issues, an aide to Iran's supreme leader said on Monday.
But Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, a lawmaker who is a senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, insisted that the powers on the other side of the table should lift their "illogical sanctions" at the meeting, according to the Mehr news agency.
"Iran expects the P5+1 group to put an end to the illogical sanctions in Baghdad, because the inefficiency of sanctions is proven even for Western leaders," he said, referring to the P5+1 grouping comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.
"They can show their goodwill through a trust-building effort by" lifting the sanctions, Hadad Adel said.
"Although one should not expect for all issues to be resolved in Baghdad, we can assume the (atmosphere) of the talks will follow in the footsteps of Istanbul," he said.
The Baghdad talks follow on from discussions revived April 13-14 in Istanbul after a 15-month impasse.
While the Istanbul meeting managed to set a positive tone for talks to continue, the Baghdad round is seen as the first substantive meeting in which contentious issues will be broached.
Ali Larijani, speaker of Iran's parliament, said on Monday that "one should not quickly judge" the Istanbul talks, according to the ISNA news agency.
"So far, the format of the talks was a positive move. But we have to see content-wise how many correct steps will be taken," he said.
"The current problem is not the appearance of the talks. The problem is that the West imposes sanctions behind the scenes while in public it smiles at us. And these two contradictory behaviours are not compatible. The West should take positive practical steps," he said.
The United States, which is leading Western economic sanctions imposed on Iran, is reportedly floating a concession to allow Iran minimal enrichment of uranium -- previously a no-go option -- if the Islamic republic in return permits more invasive inspections of its nuclear activities.
Iran has sent signals suggesting it could negotiate over its medium-enriched uranium process, but officials have repeatedly said that the Western sanctions should be eased.
Tehran rejects Western accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons capability.
Iranian officials are to hold a separate meeting before Baghdad, on May 13-14, with representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency to address suspicions the UN nuclear watchdog also harbours.
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