Iran welcomed on Tuesday a Russian attempt to revive talks with six world powers that are concerned about the its uranium enrichment programme, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons.
After meeting Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, his Iranian counterpart said a proposal by Moscow -- details of which have not been made public -- could be used to re-launch the talks that stalled in January.
"Our Russian friends' suggestion could be a basis for starting talks for regional and international cooperation especially in the field of peaceful nuclear activities," Saeed Jalili, secretary general of Iran's National Security Council, told state broadcaster IRIB.
Jalili's general remarks gave no indication Iran was now prepared, unlike previously, to address what the powers see as the crucial concern -- its uranium enrichment drive, which U.N. inspectors say Iran has not proven is for peaceful energy only.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. President Barack Obama in July of Moscow's "step-by-step" approach under which Iran could address questions about its nuclear programme and be rewarded with a gradual easing of sanctions.
"We and the six countries as seven countries can create the grounds for cooperation through this strategy," Jalili said.
The United States has cautiously welcomed Russia's overture to Iran, but says it will continue a "dual approach" of sanctions pressure and the possibility of talks. "We welcome any Russian effort to persuade Iran that it's time to change course and meet its international obligations," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters on Monday.
ReutersLast Mod: 16 Ağustos 2011, 17:54