Call for Active Russia Role in P5+1 Talks

Call for Active Russia Role in P5+1 Talks  Call for Active Russia Role in P5+1 Talks

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a meeting with Russia's chief nuclear negotiator Sergei Ryabkov in Tehran on Monday to discuss the nuclear talks between Iran and the six major powers.

The foreign minister thanked Moscow for playing a positive role in the nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) and said, "A more active role on the part of Russia is a major factor which can help expedite the final resolution of the dispute and facilitate the process of working out a comprehensive nuclear solution."   

Ryabkov, for his part, said Russia has tried to play a "responsible role" in the negotiations, adding that the "friendly" and "close" relations between Moscow and Tehran necessitate exploiting the potential to quickly resolve the nuclear standoff.

He added that Russia is ready to have "more effective" cooperation with Iran on regional and international issues.  

The Russian deputy foreign minister also held separate meetings with senior nuclear negotiators Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi on the same day, Fars new agency reported.  

The meetings came before a new round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 which is scheduled to be held in Geneva on January 18 at the level of deputy foreign ministers and political directors.

The foreign minister will also hold a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the Swiss city on Wednesday.

Zarif said on Sunday, "All nuclear issues will be discussed in the one-day talks, and the purpose of the talks is to see whether it is possible to speed up the negotiations (with the six powers) and move forward."


Kerry said on Monday he and his Iranian counterpart would seek at their meeting to lay the ground for the negotiations on Tehran's nuclear program to make greater progress, Reuters reported.

"The meeting is calculated to take stock, number one, and to provide direction to our teams, number two, and to hopefully be able to accelerate the process to make greater progress," Kerry told reporters on a visit to India.

The Kerry-Zarif meeting precedes lower-level bilateral talks between Iran and the six major powers the next day.

In November 2013, Iran, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China struck a preliminary agreement, under which Tehran agreed to accept temporary constraints on its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief. They failed last November for a second time to meet a self-imposed deadline to reach a final nuclear deal and decided to extend the interim accord and their talks on a final settlement to the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear work until June 30.   

Iranian and Western officials have said wide differences remain over Tehran's uranium enrichment capacity, how fast economic sanctions should be lifted and other key issues.

"We're at a juncture where most of the issues are now getting fleshed out and understood and I think it's important for him and for me to take stock," Kerry said of his meeting with Zarif.