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Meeting in Geneva for the second round of talks following the election of Hassan Rouhani to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President, the delegates have been trying to reach compromise on trade sanctions and Iran’s demand that it be allowed to develop a nuclear programme.
One proposed deal offers Iran some relief from punitive sanctions in return for a curb on uranium enrichment, a major sticking point.
The US wants Iran to refrain from further advancing its nuclear programme and commit to much more intrusive inspections.
Iran, which says its programme is for peaceful purposes, insists it has a right to develop nuclear power.
“Any agreement which does not satisfy Iran and does not recognise Iran’s (nuclear) rights and is not based on mutual respect, has no chance for success,” Foreign Minister Maohammad- Javad Zarif said earlier in the week.
Both Russia and the US are hopeful that the talks will lead to some positive conclusion. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the parties to the talks had been closer than at any time in a decade to reach a deal.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov quoted by the government’s Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily as saying that he shared Kerry’s assessment of the talks and urged that the chances for a deal not be squandered.
“Because the steps Iran is ready to take as its obligations are quite significant and directed to the demands of international community,” Lavrov said.