Iran Openness at Atomic Talks Without Precedent, Russia Says

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(Bloomberg – –  Stepan Kravchenko & Henry Meyer -October 30, 2013) Russia said Iran showed “unprecedented openness” in Geneva during two days of talks with world powers this month over its disputed nuclear program.

“The Iranians displayed unprecedented openness, something that was recognized by all participants” representing the so-called P5+1 powers — the U.S., Russia, China, U.K., France and Germany, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said in a written reply to questions today. “They offered expanded clarifications in outlining the restrictions of their nuclear program that they are prepared to accept in exchange for an easing of the sanctions regime.”

The round of negotiations between Iran and the six world powers was the first since Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president, took office. Iran will be offering a “new approach” in higher level talks on Nov. 7-8 in Geneva, according to Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

Iran insists its program is for civilian purposes, such as medical research and electricity generation, a claim that countries including the U.S. and Israel dispute. Sanctions imposed over the nuclear program have slashed Iran’s crude oil exports — the country’s main source of revenue — by half since last June, sent its currency plunging and fueled inflation.

At the P5+1 talks scheduled for next month, Russia is counting on participants “to show political willingness and a readiness for compromises,” Bogdanov said.

Iran and world powers may strike an accord allowing the Islamic republic to continue enriching uranium up to 5 percent purity, Sergei Ryabkov, another deputy foreign minister and Russia’s chief negotiator at the talks, said Oct. 21 in an interview. Even 3.5 percent purity would be too high, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the following day.

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