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Russian, Iranian diplomats discuss preparation of new round of Iran-P5+1 talks

June 30, 2014, 21:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The talks are scheduled to resume in Vienna on July 2
1 pages in this article
© EPA/HERBERT NEUBAUER

MOSCOW, June 30./ITAR-TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov met with Iranian Ambassador in Moscow Mehdi Sanaei on Monday, June 30, to discuss the preparation of the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany).

The talks are scheduled to resume in Vienna on July 2.

Ryabkov said earlier that the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group should have time limits, after which all restrictions on the Iranian nuclear programme must be lifted.

“Russia believes that after the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program has normalised, there should be no restrictions on the nuclear program left,” he said.

Ryabkov could not say, however, how much time this would take. “There is no such understanding,” he added.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has “tested and effective solutions” to use in this case. “Crucial are the so-called expanded conclusions on the absence of undeclared nuclear material and nuclear activities. But I can’t judge whether this would be enough for this is a unique operation,” Ryabkov said.

He stressed that “finding a common denominator” was the main difficulty at the current talks.

Ryabkov said Iran and the six world powers had not come anywhere near an agreement on the number of centrifuges in Iran. “This is an issue that is on the negotiating table right now and w e have not come anywhere close to resolving it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the political directors from both sides will meet in Brussels on June 26 to discuss the preparation of the next round of talks to be held in July.

“This is a routine event and we regularly hold such meetings. I do not think that one should look for some extraordinary circumstances behind it,” the diplomat said, adding, “The number of complexities and difficult issues warrants an additional discussion.”

Ryabkov said earlier that the parties could reach a comprehensive agreement by July 20 but there was no guarantee.

“There is such a chance even though there is no guarantee and there can be no guarantee. But we could see that all parties are determined to find a solution,” he said.

The diplomat spoke of some “difficulties” and noted that “serious and big problems are unlikely to be resolved quickly”.

Ryabkov said the most complex issues at the talks concerned the future uranium enrichment programme, the Arak reactor and the lifting of the sanctions on Iran.

“Another problem is the future of the Arak reactor. We are in for complex debates on Iran’s previous activities which raise doubts about the entirely peaceful nature of its program,” Ryabkov said. “And certainly the sanctions: how, what and when will be lifted - these are also difficult questions,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on June 18 that the sides had practically started writing the text of their agreement but differences remained.

He said the parties had agreed the title of the document which should close the Iranian nuclear file. It will be called a joint comprehensive action plan.

Another problem is the future of the Arak reactor. We are in for complex debates on Iran’s previous activities which raise doubts about the entirely peaceful nature of its program. And certainly the sanctions: how, what and when will be lifted - these are also difficult questions Sergei Ryabkov Russian Deputy Foreign Minister The appearance of a certain text in the Vienna negotiations of the P5+1 group is a positive step, but the question remains about the essence of the text, Ryabkov told journalists after the previous round of talks on June 20.

“Strictly speaking, the result is not very impressive in terms of the ultimate goal achivement,” he said. “We have intensively worked in different ways for a week. As a result, we have a certain text, which has no status in terms of the willingness of all parties to sign what is written there.”

“This can be easily seen by the amount of brackets in the text, which means that there are a lot of controversial issues, objections of various delegations, which require additional study,” the diplomat said. “There are a lot of controversial points and all of them are regarding the fundamental questions.”

“However, the fact that such text has appeared is already a step forward,” he stated. “Finally, after numerous and sustained efforts there was formed a common ground, understandable for all participants of the negotiations. I think we will follow it and will continue working on the basis of this text.”

Russia urged the P5+1 group representatives to do everything possible to develop a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program by July 20. Otherwise, the parties will need a separate decision.

“I think that if, due to one reason or another, we do not reach an agreement, then we will need a separate decision. It must be preceded by the corresponding discussion, but now there is no reason for us to get engaged into this work, in the discussion of this subject,” he said, adding, “We encourage everyone, and we are doing everything in order to find the necessary solution by July 20.”

Iranian President Hassan Rohani also said that the remaining “disputes can be resolved with goodwill and flexibility” to reach a permanent agreement before a July 20 deadline.

The interim nuclear deal made on November 24, 2013, called for taking the first step of reciprocal actions to prove good faith in a six-month period to be followed by negotiations for a comprehensive agreement, according to which the Western governments will acknowledge the Iranian nuclear program as civilian.

The deal was called the first step to be followed by a comprehensive agreement, which, on the one hand, should resolve the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and, on the other hand, remove economic sanctions that slow down Iran’s economic development.

The agreement reached by and between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) in Geneva last year became effective on January 20, 2014.

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