Russia asks for urgent setting of date for Iran-5+1G talks

Photo: Russia asks for urgent setting of date for Iran-5+1G talks / Nuclear Program

Russian Federation Deputy Foreign Minister and top nuclear negotiator Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday stressed the need for urgent setting of a date for next round of Iran and Group of 5+1 (UNSC veto vote holders plus Germany) negotiations, IRNA reported.

According to IRNA, Sergei Ryabkov further noted in an interview with Itar-Tass, no date has yet been agreed upon for the new round of Iran-G5+1 talks and Russia asks for urgent setting of that date.

He added that as Moscow has several times announced that contacts and negotiations with Iran thru the G5+1 are of great importance.

The Russian top nuclear negotiator reiterated that holding such a meeting is in addition to setting a date for it in need of the readiness of the participating sides for attending it.

Ryabkov said, "We hope the meeting would be held before the end of the summer of 2013."

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also said that a diplomatic push had been launched to arrange a new round of talks after Hassan Rowhani was elected president on June 14 but made clear there had been no breakthrough.

The last high-level talks between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany were held in the Kazakh city of Almaty in April.

They failed to end the deadlock in a decade-old dispute over Tehrans peaceful nuclear program, prolonging a stand-off.

At those talks, the six asked Iran to suspend its most sensitive uranium-enrichment work in return for modest relief from international sanctions, an offer Tehran did not accept.

Iran says it is enriching uranium only to fuel a planned network of nuclear power stations, and for medical purposes.

A senior US official on Wednesday said that Washington was determined to try to resolve the nuclear stand-off with Tehran diplomatically and urged Tehran to return to negotiations.

The window for such a solution is open and we intend to pursue it, Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary for International Security and Non-Proliferation, said.

We are willing to be optimistic about the possibility of a changed policy in Tehran but it needs to be expressed through actual negotiations and not simply with rhetorical statements, he added.

Tehrans team at nuclear talks with the six world powers has been led by Sa'eid Jalili, who was a rival election candidate, and is likely to be overhauled once Rowhani takes office in early August.

Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the West last week of being inflexible in negotiations and expressed a desire to resolve an issue which has led to ever tighter sanctions on Irans oil sector and the wider economy.

New US sanctions that came into effect on Monday target trade with Irans shipping and automobile sectors, gold sales to Iran and handling of the Iranian currency, the rial, a further attempt to force Tehran to curb its nuclear activities.

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