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  Sunday, November 17, 2019
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Moscow hopes for a positive result in its difficult talks with Iran on its nuclear issue
Moscow hopes for a positive result in its difficult talks with Iran on its nuclear issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday. "As for the Moscow talks on the Iranian nuclear issue, they are proceeding with difficulty, but we hope to reach a positive result. We are not losing optimism," Putin said at a joint news conference with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev. He said Iranian negotiators had taken a break in the talks to hold consultations with the country's leadership. "We believe Russia's proposal to resolve the crisis by setting up a joint venture to enrich uranium on Russian soil should suit Iranian partners," Putin said. He also said Russia was maintaining permanent contacts with the United States and European countries involved in the talks on Iran's nuclear program. Two-day talks over the Russian offer to enrich uranium for Iran in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear bomb ended with no specific results Tuesday, but the sides agreed to resume them in Tehran later on. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Power, said he would go to Iran February 23 to continue the talks. Moscow and Tehran are discussing the Russian initiative to set up a joint uranium enrichment venture in Russia, with possible involvement of other countries, in particular China. The stand of the Iranian delegation will decide the future of Iran's "nuclear file," which the U.S. and the European Union Trio involved in talks with Tehran - France, the United Kingdom and Germany - threatened to refer to the UN Security Council. Tehran may face international sanctions if found to be in breach of its international commitments. The mooted deal is seen as a potential compromise in the crisis around the nuclear programs of the Islamic Republic, which some countries suspect of pursuing a covert weapons program. Although Tehran has consistently said it only wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes, the U.S. and other nations have concerns, as enriched uranium is a vital component for an atomic bomb. Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, said Russia must specify a timeframe and location in its proposals to enrich Iran's uranium on its territory through a Russian-Iranian joint venture. Mottaki said Iran was ready to find a compromise through considering new ideas. "We are ready to solve the problem by peaceful, diplomatic means within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said. The diplomat said it would be preferable to reach a compromise before March 6, when the IAEA was to report on the Islamic Republic to the UN Security Council
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