Iran ready to clarify issues regarding nuclear programme: Russia

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Moscow, Jan 23 (UNI) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said Iran was ready to clarify the outstanding issues regarding its nuclear programme.

''A draft resolution discussed at a meeting of the 'six' in Berlin not only takes into consideration, but also welcomes the progress of the IAEA in clarifying the remaining issues related to Iran's nuclear programme,'' Mr Lavrov told Russian mediapersons after the meeting of the six nations, which include the P5 countries-- the US, Britain, Russia, China and France-- and Germany, in Berlin.

''It also expresses support to IAEA efforts to solve the issues still needed to be solved,'' he said, adding, ''The Iranian side gave assurances that it was ready to solve these issues in the next two or three weeks.'' Mr Lavrov said the resolution stipulates some measures meant to put pressure on Iran, but these are not sanctions.

''Additional measures to influence Iran were provided, but they are not tough sanctions,'' he pointed out.

''In general, they are articulated in the form of appeals to all countries to be careful in developing various ties with Iran in order to prevent any violation of the non-proliferation regime,'' Interfax news agency quoted Mr Lavrov as saying.

''This is very important, because it is the role of the UN Security Council to police the nuclear non-proliferation regime,'' he noted.

''Our goals were achieved. This resolution is a draft that was tentatively approved,'' he said.

The Minister also said if Iran accepts the proposals put forward by the six world powers, all of them, including the US, will begin direct negotiations with it.

''These negotiations will deal not only with nuclear issues and the practical acknowledgement of Iran's legitimate rights to develop its civilian nuclear power industry, but also with the expansion of economic cooperation with it in the nuclear sector and cooperation with it on regional problems and security problems in that region,'' he said.

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