- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The White House said it would not immediately lift sanctions on Iran as a result of progress in talks to allow an investigation into Tehran’s nuclear program.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog director said Tuesday that he expects to sign a deal with Iran to grant international monitors access to its nuclear facilities, which the West believes are being used to produce atom bombs but Tehran denies.

The development comes one day before six world powers — the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia — meet Iran’s security council in Baghdad to discuss greater transparency of the nuclear program.

“We will make judgements about Iran’s behavior based on actions, not just agreements,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “We are very clear-eyed about Iranian behavior and will continue to pressure Tehran and continue with sanctions.”

Iran faces several layers of U.S. sanctions. In late March, the president signed off on sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports, after determining there was enough crude supplies in the world market that taking the step wouldn’t harm U.S. allies or drive gas prices even higher.

The U.S. will begin to sanction nations that fail to reduce their Iranian oil imports on June 28, and on July 1 the EU will begin blocking Iranian crude from entering the continent.

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