Top Russian official resumes nuclear talks in Tehran
A top Russian official resumed nuclear talks with high-ranking Iranian officials in Tehran Tuesday, state media reported.
Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev is hoping to persuade Tehran to resume deadlocked six-way nuclear talks on the basis of a new Russian proposal, DPA repported.
He met with his Iranian counterpart Saeid Jalili at the foreign ministry in Tehran to discuss Iran's nuclear programme, which Western powers are concerned aim to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran maintains its nuclear programme has only civilian objectives.
During a recent visit to Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed a gradual easing of sanctions against Iran in return for every positive move made by Iran in the nuclear dispute.
While welcoming the Russian proposal, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters Tuesday that Tehran first needed all details of the proposal before making any decision.
Neither side has so far commented on Tuesday's meeting.
Patrushev also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi and was to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad later Tuesday.
Salehi was to leave for Moscow and meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday to continue the nuclear talks.
Several rounds of talks with six world powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - in recent years have failed, including the latest one in January in Istanbul.
Iran is demanding an acknowledgement of its right to enrich uranium as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The six world powers are requiring a suspension of the uranium enrichment process first, as a sign of goodwill.