Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Says Iran Ready to Discuss Nuclear Gestures

Russia said Wednesday that Iran appears ready to agree to specific steps to end a standoff over its nuclear program but warned that additional U.S. sanctions would undermine efforts to ensure Tehran does not develop atomic weapons.

Speaking in Moscow at a meeting between Iran and six global powers began in Baghdad, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said expert-level meetings had indicated Tehran, often accused by Western states of playing for time, was now prepared for serious negotiations.

"We got the clear impression from these preliminary contacts that the Iranian side is ready to seek agreement on concrete actions within the framework of an approach based on the principles of gradual, reciprocal steps," Lavrov said.

Russia advocates a "step-by-step" approach, under which Iran would take measures to ease concerns that it is seeking nuclear weapons in exchange for relief from sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council as well as by Western nations.

Moscow opposes any new sanctions on Iran, and Lavrov suggested that U.S. President Barack Obama should veto additional punitive economic measures approved by the U.S. Senate on Monday if they reach his desk for signature.

The proposed U.S. sanctions "are aimed not at combating possible risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction but in essence at the economic strangulation of Iran," he said.

"I hope this excess by the American lawmakers will be met with a … responsible approach by the U.S. administration and the U.S. president," Lavrov said, warning that the sanctions would undermine unity among the nations leading diplomacy with Iran — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more