Lavrov is on a Latin American tour culminating with a July 15 Brazil summit of emerging major economic nations, including China. (AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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Decisions by the foreign ministers of Russia and China to skip talks on Iran's nuclear program this weekend are further denting expectations that the stalled negotiations will produce a deal by July 20 .The most important disputes over how deeply Iran must cut its nuclear program to gain sanctions relief are between Washington and Tehran, so Kerry's presence is important. He will be able to talk directly to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is already at the Vienna negotiations. British Foreign Secretary William Hague, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and German Foreign Minister Walter Steinmeier are also attending. But the absence of Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi could be detrimental -- it took foreign ministers or their deputies of all six nations to negotiate a preliminary deal with Tehran in November.
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