Talks with Lavrov to focus on Iran nuclear issue: Zarif


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic’s nuclear issue will top the agenda of his talks during his day-long visit to Russia.

Upon his arrival in the Russian capital of Moscow early Friday, Zarif said he would exchange views with his Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov over a range of issues, adding the centerpiece of their talks will be Iran’s nuclear energy program as well as the country’s ongoing negotiations with the P5+1 group.


Iran’s nuclear case is among the most significant issues to be discussed with Lavrov as Russia is an important member of the P5+1 group and Tehran has broad relations with Moscow in the area of nuclear technology, Zarif added.

Iran and the six countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – are currently in talks to work out a lasting accord aimed at ending the longstanding dispute over Tehran’s civilian nuclear activities.


Last November, the two sides signed an interim deal, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later on July 20. In July, Tehran and the six states agreed to extend their negotiations until November 24 after they failed to reach common ground on a number of key issues.


Zarif further described Tehran-Moscow relations as “strategic” and “serious,” adding the two neighboring countries share common views on many issues of regional and international significance.


The top Iranian diplomat also pointed to the ongoing terror operations by the ISIL Takfiri group in Iraq and Syria and called for deeper cooperation between Iran and Russia to deal with the threats posed by extremism to the Middle East.


Zarif headed to Russia following a Thursday visit to Turkey, where he took part in the swearing-in ceremony of the country’s President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan.