|Russia seeking nuclear talks with Iran by end-Jan.||
TEHRAN – Russia said on Thursday it is trying to firm up plans for a new round of talks this month between global powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Russia is concerned about this, and we continue to work, including with our Iranian partners, to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, according to state-run news agency Itar-Tass, Reuters reported.
According to the report, Ryabkov, Russia’s negotiator at the talks, said that until there is a final agreement “there is no agreement.”
Iranian news agency ISNA said on Wednesday that Iran and six world powers - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany - would resume talks in late January, but a European Union official said the two sides had yet to agree a date. No venue has been agreed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said later that there was an understanding among the parties involved that the meeting should take place this month, and that the dates reported by ISNA - January 28-29 - were being discussed.
But it said the dates could change if there is no agreement on the venue, and added that Russia was open to any venue.
According to Reuters, a spokesman for Ashton said in Brussels on Wednesday that no date had yet been set. “Contacts are still ongoing. We are waiting for the Iranians to respond,” Michael Mann said when asked about the ISNA report.
The latest round of high-level talks between Iran and world powers was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, 2012.
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