Top Russian official to visit Tehran for nuclear talks
Aug 2, 2011, 6:52 GMT
Tehran - A top Russian official will visit Iran this month to discuss Tehran's nuclear programmes, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday.
Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev will travel to Tehran on August 15 to meet both his Iranian counterpart Saeid Jalili and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mehmanparast said that talks on Iran's nuclear programmes would be on the agenda.
The visit is expected to be an effort by the Russian side to persuade Iran to resume nuclear talks with world powers on the basis of a new Russian proposal.
During a visit to Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed a gradual easing of sanctions against Iran in return for every positive move made by Iran in the nuclear dispute.
Tehran has welcomed the Russian proposal as a sign of goodwill but not yet agreed to it.
Mehmanparast and other Iranian officials have said several times that the only way to have constructive talks with world powers is if they acknowledge Iran's nuclear rights, including the disputed uranium enrichment process.
Iran insists that its nuclear programmes are just for civil and peaceful purposes, but world powers fear that Tehran's atomic technology could be used for secret military projects.
Tehran has so far rejected the main demand by world powers that it should show goodwill by suspending its uranium enrichment process, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, enrichment was the country's legitimate right.
Several rounds of talks with six world powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - in recent years have failed, including the latest one in January in Istanbul.
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