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Russian, US top diplomats discuss Iran, Middle East in Lausanne

March 30, 2015, 3:09 UTC+3 LAUSANNE
Lavrov and Kerry held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of another round of talks between Tehran and the P5+1 international negotiators on the settlement of the Iranian nuclear program
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LAUSANNE, March 30. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the controversial Iranian nuclear program and the current situation in the Middle East, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"The sides discussed the developments at the current round of negotiations between the Group of Six [international negotiators] and Iran and exchanged opinions concerning the steps necessary to reach an all-embracing agreement regarding the Iranian nuclear program," the ministry wrote on its FaceBook account.

"The diplomats also discussed key regional and international issues paying particular attention to the situation in the Middle East," the ministry added.

Lavrov and Kerry held a bilateral meeting on Sunday night on the sidelines of another round of talks between Tehran and the P5+1 international negotiators on the settlement of the controversial Iranian nuclear program

The P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France plus Germany) and Tehran agreed earlier in the year to extend the deadline for an agreement in the talks on Iran’s nuclear program to June 30.

The previous round of the Iranian nuclear talks in Lausanne was held during six days - between March 15 and March 20 - with daily consultations between Kerry and Zarif.

Both the representatives of Washington and Tehran have repeatedly said that the negotiations in Lausanne were successful. Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the sides had agreed on 90% of technical issues.

The US presidential administration said however the negotiations had less than a 50% chance of success.

The issue of lifting sanctions against Iran is one of the key stumbling blocks at the negotiations. Tehran demands their full and immediate lifting while Washington first wants to get firm guarantees that the Iranian nuclear program has absolutely peaceful purposes and this should be confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts.

Iran says it needs nuclear power to generate electricity, but Western powers led by the United States claim Iran’s eventual aim is to create nuclear weapons.

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