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ROME, June 12 /ITAR-TASS/. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi, who arrived in the Italian capital city on Wednesday, have met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov to inform him about the results of his talks with representatives from the United States, the European Union and France in Geneva, a well-informed Iranian source in Rome told Itar-Tass.
“All the bilateral meetings served the purpose of getting a better knowledge of the positions of the sides ahead of the next round of consultations of the P5+1 group [on the Iranian dossier] in Vienna,” the source quoted Aragchi as saying.
“With Ryabkov, we discussed some aspects and issues related to the future round of talks [in Vienna], and fruitfully exchanged views and ideas. We consider these contacts ahead of the meeting with the P5+1 group extremely important,” the Iranian diplomat said.
A two-day round of consultations in the format the United States-Iran-the European Union on Tehran’s nuclear programme ended in Geneva on June 10. The United States delegation will be held by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. The European Union was represented by EUDeputy Secretary General Helga Schmid. After talks that lasted about 12 hours in all, the Iranian negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi, said they had been uneasy, although held in a positive atmosphere.
According to Aragchi, the consultations centered round issues of Iran’s nuclear programme only, and these issues are well-known. “They include [uranium] enrichment, enrichment levels in Iran, the problem of Arak [where a heavy water moderated reactor is being built],” he said.
On Wednesday, the Iranian delegation met with a French delegation led by recently appointed political director of the French foreign ministry Nicolas de Riviere. An Iranian-German meeting is planned for Sunday.
These meetings were organized ahead of another round of consultations on the Iranian nuclear programme between Tehran and 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, due to be held in Vienna on June 16-20. The sides are working to sign a comprehensive agreement on the settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem.