Progress in Nuclear Talks on Tehran’s Past Research

Progress in Nuclear Talks on Tehran’s Past Research Progress in Nuclear Talks on Tehran’s Past Research

There has been some progress on the issue of Tehran's past nuclear research in the most recent round of nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers in Vienna ending on Friday, Sputnik quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

Ryabkov told reporters in the Austrian capital on Friday that the main areas of the discussion were issues related to Tehran's nuclear activities, including the alleged military aspects of Iran's nuclear program.  Iran denies it nuclear program may have any military objectives, saying the work is solely for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity.   

"Another aspect relates to Iran's military activities that might have taken place in the past. There is progress on each of the directions, but there are also issues that have been deadlocked," Ryabkov said. According to Ryabkov, Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are still trying to determine conditions that would allow shelving the issue of Tehran's nuclear activities in the past.

Iran and the six major powers are engaged in "intense contacts" with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Russia's chief nuclear negotiator said. "Intense contacts with the IAEA have become an important new element of our work in recent days," he said.

"One of the main reasons why Russia suggested holding the talks in Vienna is the need for intense professional and expert consultations of between the sides of the talks and the IAEA secretariat," he noted. "This is happening now."

The ongoing nuclear negotiations, if successful, will specify the details of a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program, which is set to be finalized by the self-imposed June 30 deadline.

The agreement is expected to lead to the lifting of sanctions against Iran, provided that the IAEA verifies that Tehran has met its nuclear commitments under the accord. On April 2, Iran and the six powers, including China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States and Germany, agreed on a framework for a deal to resolve the 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear work.