Senior officials from Iran and Russia have discussed bilateral ties between the two countries on the sidelines of nuclear talks between Tehran and six major world powers in Geneva.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain - plus Germany held two rounds of talks over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program on Tuesday.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Abbas Araqchi and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who are the top negotiators of their countries in the Geneva talks, held two bilateral meetings, one prior to the opening of the negotiations on Tuesday and another after the first day of the talks came to an end on the same day.
Iran and the six world powers are set to start a second day of negotiations shortly on Wednesday.
Araqchi also said on Tuesday that Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi and British Foreign Office Political Director Simon Gass are scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss Iran-UK bilateral ties as well as Tehran’s nuclear issue.
“In order for the Tehran-London relations to reach their highest level, problems should be settled,” said Araqchi.
On November 27, 2011, Iranian lawmakers voted by a large majority to downgrade diplomatic ties with Britain, in response to London’s decision to impose sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran over the false allegation that Tehran’s nuclear program may include a covert military agenda.
On November 30, London withdrew its diplomatic staff from Iran and the Iranian mission in London also returned to the Islamic Republic.
Recently, however, the two sides have expressed willingness to resume bilateral ties.