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Iran asks EU to reconsider sanctions on oil exports

(Xinhua)

08:45, April 20, 2012

TEHRAN, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi on Thursday asked the European Union (EU) to reconsider its sanctions on the Islamic republic's oil exports.

"If Europeans don't cancel the oil sanctions, it will, for sure, have grave impacts on the energy market especially on the energy security," Qasemi said Thursday on the sidelines of an international oil show in Tehran.

EU leaders approved in January the latest raft of restrictive measures on Iran's oil exports over the country's controversial nuclear program. The sanctions are expected to come into force on July 1.

"We are waiting for good news (from the Europeans) and the Europeans' response to Iran in Baghdad will be important for the oil market," said the Iranian oil minister.

The Iraqi capital of Baghdad will host the next round of nuclear talks on May 23 between Iran and the world powers. The dialogue is expected to bear fruit in resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi on Monday suggested the five UN Security Council permanent members -- the United States, France, Russia, China, and Britain -- plus Germany (P5+1) lift sanctions against Tehran before the next round of nuclear talks in Baghdad.

Talking to the semi-official ISNA news agency, Salehi said that "If the West wants to build trust (in the process of resolving Iran's nuclear issue), they'd better start from (lifting) sanctions since this will speed up the process of coming to terms. "

"It is true that the process of lifting sanction may be long, but there is no reason to make it longer," he was quoted as saying.

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