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Major powers and Iran start nuclear talks in Baghdad

JTA

May 23, 2012 | 10:42 am

Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, third right, and his delegation attend a meeting with representatives of the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain in Baghdad on May 23. Photo by REUTERS/Government Spokesman Office

Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, third right, and his delegation attend a meeting with representatives of the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain in Baghdad on May 23. Photo by REUTERS/Government Spokesman Office

The major powers launched a new round of talks with Iran on its suspected nuclear weapons program.

The sides hope to emerge from the session in Baghdad on Wednesday with the outline of a plan that would lead to increased Iranian transparency in exchange for a degree of relief on sanctions.

Iran experts say that the major powers, including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, may offer a deal that requires Iran to give up enriching uranium to 20 percent, a few steps shy of weaponization, in exchange for being allowed to enrich uranium to 3.5 percent for medical and research purposes as well as an intrusive regimen of inspections.

Iran indicated Tuesday that it may soon agree to allow United Nations inspectors to examine its nuclear facilities.

Israel wants all enrichment to stop and the dismantling of a reactor near the Shiite holy city of Qom uncovered in 2009 by Western intelligence.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Western powers cite increasing evidence of a weapons program, including signs that Iran is testing a trigger mechanism for a bomb.

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