Volume. 11955

Russia not upbeat about Iran nuclear talks
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_am3(78).jpgTEHRAN – Moscow has no special expectations for the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the six major powers, the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday, Reuters reported. 
Speaking before high-level talks in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday, Ryabkov said that talks on a number of issues were still in early stages and that the meeting should produce a basis for further talks.   
The Vienna talks are meant to build on an interim deal reached between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in Geneva on November 24, 2013, according to which Iran agreed not to expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief.   
The Geneva agreement was designed to provide time to negotiate a comprehensive solution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. The interim agreement came into force on January 20.     
On arrival in Vienna on Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, told reporters that in the new round of talks, the two sides will try to complete preliminary discussions so that they can start drafting a final deal in future meetings.   
A senior U.S. administration official, speaking on Friday, said both sides had intended to spend March and April going over “every single issue that we believed had to be addressed in a comprehensive agreement” before work started on drafting in May.
“We are on pace with that work plan, looking toward beginning drafting in May,” the official said, according to Reuters.    

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