RIA Novosti: Russia Says Iran Not to Blame for Geneva Talks Failure

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MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has said Iran was not to blame for the failed outcome of nuclear talks in Geneva last week, hinting at cracks in what had previously appeared to be a relatively united international front on the issue.

A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the account of the talks given by US Secretary of State John Kerry this week was an oversimplification of events.

“The draft of the joint document readied by the Americans was agreeable to the Iranians, but as decisions at the negotiations in this format are adopted by consensus, it was unfortunately not possible to come to a final agreement. This was not the fault of the Iranians,” the source said.

Kerry on Monday accused Tehran of backing away from a deal to limit its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have stifled its economy. He said though that a deal could be reached in the coming months.

Tehran has pointed the finger at France for the failure to reach consensus in Geneva.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told French media during the talks on Saturday morning that his delegation did not agree with the draft under discussion.

“There are some points on which we are not satisfied,” Fabius was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse news agency. AFP quoted Fabius as citing the “extremely prolific” Arak nuclear reactor and the issue of uranium enrichment.

Tehran offered last month to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, starting with its banking industry and oil exports.

Iran insists its nuclear program is aimed at generating nuclear energy for civilian purposes, but the US and other Western powers suspect the Islamist state of seeking to build nuclear weapons.

The talks between Iran and the six powers ­ the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany ­ will resume on November 20.