Moscow hopes Iran Six resume talks December
Moscow hopes the P5+1 group of mediators will resume talks in early December, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.
"I hope they [talks] will occur. At least we are now discussing concrete dates - the beginning of December," Lavrov said.
Iran has proposed two dates for nuclear talks with the group known as P5+1-the U.S., China, Russia, France, the U.K. and Germany, Nov. 23 and Dec. 5, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week.
First the European Union and then the P5+1 have been in on-and-off talks with Iran since 2003, in an effort to persuade Tehran to abandon a nuclear fuel program that Western governments in particular believe is designed to produce weapons-grade fuel. The talks have had little success, however.
Iran says the fuel is for civilian purposes only and that the program, though conducted in secret, is legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Turkey and Brazil earlier this year persuaded Tehran to agree to a side deal, under which it would transfer part of its existing stockpile of low-grade enriched uranium for storage in Turkey, in exchange for higher-grade uranium fuel rods for use in a medical reactor. Though the P5+1 originally backed the deal, they refused to delay a new round of sanctions. Iran and the P5+1 have been discussing how to get back to the negotiating table ever since.