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MOSCOW/ROME, June 12 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia positively assesses efforts to agree a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme ahead of another round of consultations between the P5+1 group of international mediators [the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany] and Iran due to be held in Vienna on June 16, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said after his meeting with the Iranian delegation in Rome.
“It can be said that the work on the comprehensive agreement goes on. After today’s conversation, we have certain positive expectations ahead of the next round of negotiation due to begin in Vienna on Monday,” he said.
While in Rome, Ryabkov met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araghchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi. “Our meeting with the Iranian officials was not meant to yield any concrete decisions about the text [of the agreement] and we did not discuss the wordings - such things are done in the general format. Our task was to find areas of possible progress at the next round and areas that might give rise to serious problems. It looks like additional prospects are opening on certain aspects of the negotiating process,” he said.
He said that after the meeting some issues would be a kind of “home work.” “We will look at them over the weekend, ahead of the round,” he noted. “Maybe, what we do will help the entire P5+1 group and Iran at the next round to formulate some provisions of the future agreement.”
He stressed however that these were not “key aspects.” “Anyway, we are crossing the border between mere discussions and the search for concrete solutions. This is the reason why I have some additional optimism,” he added.
Late on Wednesday, Ryabkov met in Rome with Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini to discuss preparations for and prospects of the next round of the P5+1 meetings in Vienna on June 16-20. “Italy expresses its complete support and hopes for a positive outcome of the negotiating process involving the P5+1 group [the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany], Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Tehran on the Iranian nuclear programme,” the Italian minister said in a statement.