Russia urges Turkey meeting to consider lifting sanctions on Iran

Showing no desire to ease sanctions on Iran, Clinton said, Obama administration may propose new unilateral sanctions on Iran.

Russia urges Turkey meeting to consider lifting sanctions on Iran

Iranian negotiators said they had no fresh offer to make for a nuclear fuel swap when they meet six world powers on Friday, and Russia said talks should also address prospects for easing sanctions on Tehran ahead of a second round of negotiations between Iran and the powers in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday and Saturday.

The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV news channel reported on Tuesday that Iran would propose a revised version of a deal that was agreed in principle at a 2009 round of talks but then unravelled. But Iranian officials denied any such intentions.

"I haven't heard about it," Ali Baqeri, a deputy to Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, told Reuters as the Iranian delegation arrived in Istanbul on Thursday.

Another Iranian official said: "There is no new proposal. This is something created by the Western media. Why should we propose such a thing?"

The six big powers dealing with Iran via European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton are the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

The U.N. Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran in June last year. The United States and European Union followed up with additional unilateral sanctions.

"Russian criticism"

Showing no desire to ease sanctions on Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the U.S. television network ABC the Obama administration may propose new unilateral sanctions on Iran, one of the world's largest oil exporters.

However, Russia said unilateral sanctions were "spoilers" and the talks in Istanbul should look at ways of rolling back sanctions.

"We explained to our partners in the United States and the European Union what we think about unilateral sanctions and we hope they have heard us," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a joint news conference with Turkey's foreign minister.

"It is counterproductive to continue our common efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue."

Lavrov said, in other remarks relayed through a translator, that if all sides could agree in Istanbul on the approach for future talks on unresolved problems surrounding Iran's nuclear programme, it would be "a good result".

"But this meeting doesn't have just one topic. Cancelling the sanctions against Iran should also be discussed."

Lavrov said it would be"an important first step if a nuclear fuel swap deal was implemented.

Agencies

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2011, 11:44
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