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Lavrov: ‘Good chances’ for Iran agreement after shift from threats, ‘sanctions leverage’

Published time: November 10, 2013 21:27
Edited time: November 11, 2013 08:41
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

The sextet of international mediators and Iran have good chances to work out an agreement after dropping threats and the “leverage” of sanctions and switching to the essence of the matter, which Russia has been promoting for years, Sergey Lavrov said.

“The essence of this policy is: threats must be laid aside alongside sanction levers bypassing the UN Security Council, and the problem must be considered in essence,” Sergey Lavrov said after informing his Indian and Chinese counterparts about the results achieved in Geneva talks over the weekend.

Russia’s foreign ministry has praised the “significant progress” that has been made in recent discussions, saying that now “chances are high” that “the Sextet's political directors” and Iran will formulate approaches that could pave the way for the agreement. 

“The Sextet's political directors will meet on November 20 to use the achievements made in recent Geneva discussions and lay approaches that could forge groundwork for a joint document. The chances are very, very high for that,” he told the press.

Although no immediate result was reached during the latest round of talks between Iran and six world powers, it still was “time well-spent,” Lavrov said. 

“We have created grounds for cooperation that will help us decide how to deal with the Iranian nuclear problem in terms of IAEA and UN Security Council requirements,” he said. 

The Foreign Minister emphasized that the meeting in Geneva “confirmed” that polemics and the exchange of initial positions “without attempts to draw them nearer” are being shifted to the background, while an understanding of necessity to take up issues which arouse concerns in the IAEA and the world community, is now in the foreground.

For its part, Iran has also demonstrated its determination to move further on this track, Lavrov said, stressing that talks between the Sextet and Iranian officials were concrete. 

Sergey Lavrov also praised the role the US delegation, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, saying it “was very active in the search for agreements.”

The 3-day-long meeting in Geneva ended on Saturday night with no deal struck, but all the attendees agreeing that the groundwork for an agreement had been laid.  

A widely predicted breakthrough stumbled upon “some questions” concerning the Iranian nuclear program which are still to be addressed.  

Over the weekend, Israel ramped up its efforts to prevent any deal with Iran, with PM Benjamin Netanyahu calling British PM David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to promote Tel Aviv’s position. Netanyahu is also planning a visit to Moscow on November 20, the day when the sextet talks are scheduled to resume in Geneva.