Russia says some elements of a final deal over Iran’s nuclear energy program could be agreed during an upcoming round of nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers in mid-May.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia, and China – plus Germany are scheduled to begin talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna on May 13.
“By the end of this round we should, at least, agree some elements of a coordinated text and details of a general text [of a final document],” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
Tehran and the six countries wrapped up their latest round of high-level nuclear talks in Vienna on April 9. Experts from Iran and the P5+1 group held talks in New York from May 6 to 7.
Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group are aimed at reaching a final agreement to fully resolve the West’s decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
The two sides sealed an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013 which came into force on January 20.
The Russian diplomat further said issues related to details of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites and future limitations on Tehran’s nuclear activities would be hardest to agree on.
Iran and the IAEA signed a joint statement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap for mutual cooperation on certain outstanding nuclear issues. Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant in central Iran and the Gachin uranium mine in the south of the country.
As the first step in mutual cooperation under the Iran-IAEA agreement, the IAEA inspectors visited the Arak heavy water plant on December 8, 2013. The IAEA inspectors also visited the Gachin uranium mine in late January.