Russia Pushes to End Iran Sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif walks on a street as he arrives to meet Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Bashir al-Najafi during a visit in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf.

Russia said Thursday the possibility of lifting sanctions on Iran had emerged thanks to international talks on Tehran's nuclear program and urged all countries involved to show political will to reach a deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday to discuss the negotiations with world powers on a decade-old standoff over the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions.

"Despite the difficult course of the negotiating process, a possibility is emerging to satisfy in full all integral rights of Iran as a member state of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including the right to enrich uranium and lifting the sanctions regime," Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

"We presume all parties in the talks will show political will to reach a final, mutually acceptable agreement that would allow to fully restore the international community's trust in the exclusively peaceful character of Iran's nuclear program."

The six world powers — the U.S., Russia, Germany, China, Britain and France — and Iran failed to meet a July 20 deadline to negotiate a comprehensive agreement under which Iran would curb its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of sanctions that have crippled its economy.

However, they agreed to extend the talks by four months and the Russian ministry said in its statement that it still hoped a deal was possible no later than November.

Earlier this month, Russia, which, like Iran, has been hit hard by Western sanctions, announced a large oil-for-food deal with Tehran but gave no details of the accord, highlighting the problems the two nations face in overcoming the economic curbs.

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