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Sat Sep 8, 2012 2:41PM
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (file photo)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (file photo)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stressed the need for the continuation of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group over Tehran’s nuclear energy program without pause. Speaking at a nonproliferation conference in Moscow on Friday, Ryabkov said that no pauses should be allowed to slow the pace of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group comprising the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China. The Russian deputy foreign minister stated that negotiations between the two sides have not come to a standstill as contacts are under way, adding that meetings and talks will resume soon. The deputies to Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, held day-long talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on July 24. The meeting between Ali Baqeri and Helga Schmid was held three weeks after Iran and the P5+1 held expert-level talks on July 3 in Istanbul with the participation of representatives and experts from both sides. The two sides had already agreed to hold the expert-level talks during their negotiations in the Russian capital, Moscow, in June. At the heart of the Moscow negotiations was Iran’s nuclear energy program, with Tehran reiterating its inalienable right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. AR/SS/IS
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