Russian FM: Iran-Six Powers talks yet to be scheduled
The new round of talks between Six Powers and Iran on ways to solve the nuclear issue is yet to be scheduled, RIA-Novosti quoted Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying.
"Russia hopes for Iranian authorities to accept the invitation for dialogue," Lukashevich added.
Six international mediators, including Russia, China, the U.S., France, the UK and Germany want Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment, which can pose a threat to the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
The negotiations were interrupted in 2009 when the Board of Governors of the IAEA condemned Iran for building a second plant to enrich uranium and called on Tehran to confirm that "no decisions were made on the construction of other nuclear facilities, which are not declared to the Agency."
Lukashevich reminded that a month ago EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the Six Powers, sent a letter to Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, which confirmed readiness to resume dialogue.
"We hope Iran to positively react to this call," Lukashevich said.
With regard to the recent statement by the U.S., UK and Canada about new sanctions towards Iran, he noted that sanctions do not contribute to the advancement of negotiations.
"I think everyone should understand that sanctions cannot contribute to advancement of negotiations, on the contrary, lead to serious consequences and put off the options and possibilities for dialogue not only between Iran and IAEA, but also between Iran and Six Powers, to clarify all remaining questions on Iran's nuclear program," Lukashevich underscored.
Iran's refusal to abandon its nuclear activities has resulted in resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 2010, as well as additional unilateral sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress and the foreign ministers of all EU countries, which were primarily directed against the banking, financial and energy sectors of Iran.
Tehran's refusal to stop has provoked four rounds of U.N. sanctions and tighter U.S. and European Union restrictions. Restrictions imposed by the EU include the ban on the sale of equipment, technologies and services to Iran's energy sector which is a major source of revenue for the Iranian regime; the same measure refers to the refining industry. New investments in Iran's energy sector have also been also prohibited as a whole.
edited by: S. Isayev