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Moscow considers possible ministerial meeting on Iran

October 14, 2013, 11:22 UTC+3

Deputy Foreign Minister: the issue of the negotiations’ format should not be the main one

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Vladimir Smirnov

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Vladimir Smirnov

MOSCOW, October 14 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow considers as possible organisation of a ministerial meeting on Iran, involving six parties, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Monday.

“Should it be necessary to organize a ministerial meeting, there will be no problems,” he said. “I would say the issue of the negotiations’ format should not be the main one.”

“Presently, the negotiations continue in the previous format. This means the group’s main negotiator Catherine Ashton, and she will be supported by the political directors of six world powers, that is deputy ministers,” he said. “If at a certain stage it will be necessary to organize a ministerial meeting, a session between the Group of Six and Iran, we shall not have problems with it. Of course, despite Minister Lavrov’s tough schedule, a gap for the contact of the kind may be found, in spite of the problems with adjusting schedules of the counterparts. It is important to realize, a meeting of the kind requires a base, it would be necessary to prepare it, to outline a range of issues which would require involvement of ministers, at their levels; and in the meanwhile we share the position the negotiations will continue in the format of the recent years. This means the Group’s major negotiator is Catherine Ashton, and the countries are represented by deputy ministers.”

Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that Iran’s nuclear problem can be finally settled not later than in six months,

All members involved in the talks - Tehran and the Sextet of international mediators (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) - should express goodwill, Araqchi said.

IRNA News Agency quoted the deputy foreign minister as saying a new group of Iranian negotiators “is based on experience of his predecessors, on progress and the shortcomings of the previous rounds of talks. The group will deal with implementing the basic principles, which were exposed by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York and welcomed by the Sextet”.

Iran believes that the upcoming talks should be divided in two stages. “The first one should be devoted to reaching a compromise on the goals and prospects. The key task is to allow all parties to win. Both parties should have equal rights. Otherwise we won’t make concessions,” the Iranian diplomat said.

“Their task is to receive guarantees under which Iran’s nuclear programme won’t have military purposes. It shouldn’t be aimed at producing weapons. This task will be carried out. We’ll also win when our right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is recognised,” Araqchi said.

“On the second stage the parties should take practical steps to achieve the strategic goal. These steps will be realistic and balanced to allow the parties to implement them. On the final stage Iran’s nuclear dossier should be submitted to the U.N. Security Council and the International Atomic Agency Energy,” the Iranian deputy minister said.

The Sextet and Iran will resume talks in Geneva on Tuesday. Iran’s delegation will be led by Mohammad Zari.

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