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VIENNA, February 20, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov believes Iran and the Sextet (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) may conclude a comprehensive agreement by July 20.
“There is an understanding that it will be possible to meet that time frame if political will is preserved,” the diplomat told Tass. “There are no reasons for panicking or criticizing the situation for the schedule being upset,” he added.
“There is certain parallel with chemical disarmament in Syria. Tensions emerge as to whether this timetable will be met. In this case, in the issue of talks with Iran as well as in the issue of chemical disarmament in Syria, we emphasize that it is possible to keep within the schedule,” Ryabkov said.
“We proceed from the fact that the schedule (of upcoming meetings between Iran and the Sextet) will be busy,” he added.
Ryabkov said expert negotiations not tied to political rounds could be added to consultations at the level of political directors. “These will be expert meetings at the interdepartmental level, making it possible to consider specifics of nuclear and sanction dossiers, prepare materials that will be then submitted to the level of political directors,” he specified.
The deputy minister reminded the interlocutor that “earlier, all rounds proceeded at the level of the heads of delegations, while expert meetings - inside the round”. “Now, most likely experts will be meeting also without EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and will be preparing materials independently,” he said.
The Geneva agreements that came into effect on January 20 “are a very precise, balanced and hard won starting point for future work,” he added. “Reading the Geneva Plan of Action carefully, you will find answers to many questions in it,” he noted. “The themes that we will have to deal with are already reflected in it,” Ryabkov said.