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16 Oct, 2013 20:00

Russia proposes lifting Iran sanctions in exchange for intl control of nuclear program

Moscow has proposed the lifting of international and unilateral sanctions against Iran if it agrees to have its nuclear program placed under international control, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said as the six-party talks rounded up in Geneva.
Russia proposes lifting Iran sanctions in exchange for intl control of nuclear program

The beacon, the main arrangement that we follow is the proposal by [President] Vladimir Putin that the recognition of Iran’s right to [uranium] enrichment as part of its inseparable rights under the Non-proliferation Treaty should be accompanied by the introduction of full comprehensive international control over the Iranian nuclear program,” Sergey Ryabkov told journalists in Geneva on Wednesday.

If such an agreement is reached all sanctions against Iran must be scrapped, the deputy foreign minister added. Moscow has influence on the talks between six world powers and Iran, known as P5+1, Ryabkov noted.

The issue of the successive lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program will remain one of the trickiest in the upcoming period, Rybkov said. The main difficulty is that there is no common understanding of the stages and steps that should be taken. Also, there is a “low level of trust” between Tehran and the sextet – comprised of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the US.

Overall though, Russia is satisfied with the results of the latest round of talks that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva, Ryabkov said. Compared to previous rounds of talks, the sides managed to come up with a joint communiqué and the pace of the negotiations has increased.

The White House said the proposal offered by Iranian negotiators aimed at addressing its nuclear program shows a level of seriousness and substance that the United States had never before seen.

The P5+1 met this week for the first time after Iran elected President Hassan Rouhani, who pledged to work towards the normalization of diplomatic relations with the West.