ALMATY, April 6 (Itar-Tass) - The sextet of international mediators (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, the United States, China, Britain and France, and also Germany) and Iran will have a second day of talks over the nuclear dossier in Almaty on Saturday.
The previous round was held here last February.
As Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said after the first day of negotiations, “the ongoing round is still tighter and meaningful than the previous one.” On Friday there were two full-scale meetings approximately three and a half hours long each and several bilateral meetings.
So far the negotiators have discussed counter-proposals. Iran offered its vision of the proposed solutions of the existing problems from the standpoint of the sextet’s interests and its own priorities. For its part the group of six came out with a proposal Teheran might suspend the enrichment of uranium to a degree of over five percent.
Ryabkov said the negotiations were very tough going but very interesting, new aspects have emerged and it is difficult to predict the outcome. Ryabkov said Moscow would welcome extra negotiating efforts by Iran.
The sextet is discussing the possibility of downgrading the activity of the Fordow nuclear facility (Iran’s underground uranium enrichment plant) and the possibility of converting the uranium Iran enriches to 19.75% into oxide form.
“The Iranian delegation has made a detailed statement on these issues,” Ryabkov said. “But I would like to point out that we have some fundamental comments to make regarding these statements by the Iranian side. Far from everything is clear and some specifications are needed.”
The senior Russian diplomat refrained from making any forecasts about the outcome of the current round, adding that “any option is possible.”
In the meantime, the deputy secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Bagheri, said that Iran had proposed the implementation of the Moscow plan adopted last June, but on a smaller scale. As Bagheri said, the Iranian side pointed out that “actions that are referred to as confidence-building measures should be considered as part of a more comprehensive plan, and not separately from it.”