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Sat Feb 9, 2013 7:32AM
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

The Russian deputy foreign minister says Moscow has positive expectations for the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group later in February. Sergei Ryabkov told IRNA on Friday, “Ground is prepared for an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 and the negotiating sides should make their utmost effort to use the opportunity.” Iran and the P5+1 - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany - have agreed to hold the next round of talks over Iran’s nuclear energy program in Kazakhstan on February 26. The top Russian negotiator emphasized that Moscow would support the settlement of all issues pertaining to Iran’s nuclear energy program through negotiations. Russia spares no effort in lifting the sanctions against Tehran, he stated. China and Russia, two veto-wielding powers at the UN Security Council, have persistently expressed their support for Iran’s nuclear energy program. They have also voiced opposition to the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran based on the allegation that its nuclear energy program is not civilian. Russian presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said on January 24 that Moscow considered the sanctions as ineffective and that diplomacy was “preferable.” The last round of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 was held in Moscow in June 2012. The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have falsely accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. The US and certain other countries have imposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic over the unfounded allegation, which Iran has vehemently rejected. Iran argues that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful objectives. SF/HSN/MA