BEIRUT

Middle East

Russia expects progress in Iran nuclear talks next week

In this Jan. 15, 2011 file photo, Iran's heavy water nuclear facility is backdropped by mountains near the central city of Arak, Iran. International nuclear inspectors will visit two sites in Iran in the coming days, the country's official news agency reported Sunday, as an official said that would fulfill a series of demands made by the United Nations nuclear watchdog. (AP Photo/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan, File)

MOSCOW: Iran and six world powers could agree parts of a text of an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program when they meet for a new round of negotiations in Vienna next week, Russia's chief negotiator said in comments published Tuesday.

Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia are working to reach a long-term accord on ending the decade-old dispute over Tehran's atomic activities by a self-imposed July 20 deadline.

The West suspects Iran may be seeking a nuclear weapons capability. Iran says its program is peaceful.

After spelling out their positions in three meetings earlier this year, senior officials from the countries now plan to start drafting a text of a possible deal.

"As a result of this round, we should at least get some elements of the agreed text and elements of the common text," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told state-run RIA news agency in an interview.

He did not give details on what areas the partial agreement might cover.

"For now there is no common (text) whatsoever. So if we get such an option, this would be a good result," Ryabkov, Russia's chief negotiator in the talks, said ahead of the meeting that is expected to begin on May 13 and may last for about four days.

Analysts say there is a political will on both sides to reach an agreement but that it will still be very difficult to overcome key differences, especially on the permissible scope of Iran's uranium enrichment programme.

Refined uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, Iran's stated aim, but can also provide material for atomic bombs if processed further, which the West fears may be Tehran's ultimate aim.

The powers want a deal that would significantly scale back Iran's nuclear programme so that it would not be able to build a bomb any time soon.

Iran wants an end to international sanctions that have severely hurt its oil-dependent economy. It has ruled out closing any of its nuclear facilities, which it says are part of a peaceful atomic energy project. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Moscow, additional reporting by Justyna Pawlak in Brussels, writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here