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Russia: Very Good Chance For a Deal with Iran

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that the world powers and Iran have no fundamental disagreements.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/17/2013, 4:44 AM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
AFP photo

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that there is a “very good chance” of reaching a long-sought deal on Iran’s nuclear program, reports RIA Novosti.

Speaking to Russian television, Lavrov said that the world powers and Iran have no fundamental disagreements.

“Now there are no fundamental disagreements on the issues that need to be resolved in practical terms,” and what is necessary is to “correctly draw up the agreement we have reached in diplomatic language to make it a truly joint document rather than the one imposed from outside,” Lavrov noted.

He added that last week’s talks in Geneva with Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif showed for the first time in many years that the six world powers and Iran are “ready to seek common ground instead of presenting mostly uncorrelated views.”

The talks in Geneva between Iran and the six world powers came close to a deal. While they ended with no agreement and with both sides blaming each other, another round is set for November 20.

World powers and Iran are negotiating a tentative deal that would freeze some of Iran’s suspected nuclear activities in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions.

Lavrov’s comments seem to confirm remarks made by a senior administration official in the United States on Friday.

The official had indicated that the sides were "getting close" to an interim deal with Iran that would prevent its nuclear program "from advancing, and roll it back" in key areas.

The official added that such a deal would "extend the breakout time" that Iran would need to achieve a nuclear weapon and "shorten the time to notice if they tried.”

Israel has repeatedly warned that the deal being offered to Iran is a dangerous one and would allow it to continue its nuclear program, leading to a public fight with American officials over the issue.

On Thursday, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett delivered a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington in which he warned against lifting the sanctions on Iran.