Russia proposes graduated plan for nuclear talks with Iran
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Russia has introduced a “step by step” plan to encourage Iran to answer the questions posed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Reuters reports that on July 13, Lavrov, who is currently in Washington, told a joint press conference with U.S. Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton that the plan has been presented to China and the U.S.
The news conference was held after a meeting between Lavorv, Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Lavrov explained that the IAEA will begin with the “simplest” questions and then proceed to the more complicated questions that require greater time for response.
Iranian authorities have not yet reacted to the statements of the Russian foreign minister.
After his latest meeting with the IAEA chief, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called for a more “creative method” of interacting with IAEA. He also says the agency must acknowledge that Iran has already responded to all the questions regarding its nuclear program, a request that was denied by Yukiya Amano, the head of the IAEA
Amano announced early last month that he has been presented with new evidence that points toward possible military components in Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran has repeatedly denied any nuclear military objectives and insists that all its atomic activities are directed toward energy production.
Lavrov said yesterday that if the G5+1 agrees to Russia’s proposal, at every stage of questioning, in acknowledgment of Iran’s cooperation, “mutual actions” will be taken such as lifting international sanctions and reducing punitive measures.
Hilary Clinton has announced that U.S. experts are currently reviewing the Russian proposal, insisting that the U.S. remains committed to its Iranian policy of negotiation and sanctions but it will also consider other potentially more effective strategies.