No Party Should Eye Unilateral Gain in P5+1 Talks

No Party Should Eye Unilateral Gain in P5+1 Talks No Party Should Eye Unilateral Gain in P5+1 Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is crucial that no party to the nuclear talks between Iran and the six major powers should try to gain "unilateral benefit" from the negotiations.   

"The crucial point is that nobody should try to derive unilateral benefit from the situation or to bargain out more than what is needed for a balanced and just resolution of this complicated issue," Putin said in an interview with the Al-Ahram newspaper published on Monday ahead of his visit to Egypt.

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are in talks on the 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, with a view to reaching a political agreement by March and working out the details of a final accord by the June 30 deadline for a long-term settlement to the nuclear standoff, which would place constraints on Iran's nuclear work for a specified period of time in exchange for a phasing out of sanctions.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is the chief nuclear negotiator, held intensive discussions with high-level officials from some major powers engaged in the international diplomacy on the nuclear dispute, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference from Friday to Sunday in an effort to help narrow the gaps in negotiating positions.   

  Need for More Efforts  

Asked about the measures taken by Russia as a member of the P5+1 to help settle the issue, Putin said, "I can say with no exaggeration that Russia makes a significant contribution to the settlement of the situation around the Iranian nuclear program. Our position is based on a belief that Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear activity including uranium enrichment, naturally under control of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).

"It was not an easy task to convince our partners from the P5+1 to agree with this approach. At first, we continuously asked all the parties involved to sit down at the negotiating table and start a serious discussion of the ways to resolve this problem. We tried to convince them that there was no alternative to the political and diplomatic settlement. Then, we proposed a conceptual framework to advance along this way – the principles of the stage-by-stage movement and reciprocity. And such an approach was supported by all the participants in the process."

The Russia president also said, "The negotiations are well underway now. Substantial progress has been made. However, we have not managed yet to produce a final comprehensive solution either regarding the Iranian nuclear program itself or the prospects of lifting the sanctions. We expect the efforts in this field to be continued."