Sunday, January 29, 2012

Iran says to stop some oil sales, inspectors visit

Iran sent conflicting signals in a dispute with the West over its nuclear ambitions on Sunday, vowing to stop oil exports soon to "some" countries but postponing a parliamentary debate on a proposed halt to such sales to the European Union.

The Islamic Republic declared itself optimistic about a visit by U.N. nuclear experts that began on Sunday but also warned the inspectors to be "professional" or see Tehran reducing cooperation with the world body on atomic matters.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection delegation will seek to advance efforts to resolve a row about nuclear work which Iran says is for making electricity but the West suspects is aimed at seeking a nuclear weapon.

Tensions with the West rose this month when Washington and the European Union (EU) imposed the toughest sanctions yet in a drive to force Tehran to provide more information on its nuclear program. The measures take direct aim at the ability of OPEC's second biggest oil exporter to sell its crude.

In a remark suggesting Iran would fight sanctions with sanctions, Iran's oil minister said the Islamic state would soon stop exporting crude to "some" countries. Read More