Russia Says Geneva Deal Confirms Iran’s Enrichment Right

Russia Says Geneva Deal Confirms Iran’s Enrichment Right

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed that the Geneva deal between Tehran and six major world powers has produced results, among which is the recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes on its soil.

Speaking in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif here in Tehran on Wednesday, Lavorv stressed that one of the results brought by the November nuclear deal in Geneva was Iran’s right to enjoy peaceful nuclear energy, particularly its right to enrich uranium.

This comes after Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program after three rounds of intensive talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, which can set the stage to negotiate a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program.

During the half-year period, Iran and the G5+1 are due to negotiate a comprehensive deal with the aim of resolving for good the standoff over Iran's nuclear program after a decade of on-off meetings and failed attempts.

The top Russian diplomat also noted that his meeting with Zarif covered discussions on the outcomes of the Geneva nuclear accord.

“We believe that the Geneva document should be completely carried out by the all sides. We try to make it happen, and we will have a tight schedule to reach the next stage and the final package, so that the issue would be completely settled,” Lavrov added.

He further noted that he has held “very important talks” with Zarif today.

“We had very important negotiations and we emphasized on expansion of bilateral relations,” Lavrov pointed out.

He also expressed satisfaction with the good reciprocal ties between energy and economic sectors of Iran and Russia.

As regards the upcoming Geneva 2 Conference on Syria, Lavrov insisted that Iran should attend the gathering, and said, “In the Geneva 2 (Conference), all the foreign sides and foreign actors, which can lend a hand, should be present. We believe that Iran’s attendance at Geneva is very important.”

The UN Secretary General announced on November 25 that the much delayed Geneva II Conference on Syria will be held on January 22, 2014.

He added the conference aimed to pave the way for "the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities."

Ban Ki-moon said Iran must be invited to the Geneva conference aimed at ending the ongoing crisis in Syria.

"Iran should be invited to this meeting. I and Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi had made it clear in the past that Iran should be invited to this meeting,” Ban said.

“I believe that Iran is one of such countries who can play an important role but I have not yet decided. This is a matter for concentrations among the parties concerned." 

On November 26, Iran's foreign minister once again stressed the importance of resolving the crisis in Syria through political means, saying that Tehran will take part in the Geneva 2 conference if invited unconditionally.

“We believe the illusion that there is a military solution to Syria must be abandoned. We have said all along that if Iran is invited, we will participate without any preconditions,” the Iranian minister added.

The conference would bring representatives from Syria's government and elements of the opposition to negotiate an end to the fighting that has raged on since March 2011. Yet the opposition is hardly a single group as it consists of numerous factions that often oppose each other.

Geneva II is the second sequel of Geneva I conference held in June 2012 in which international parties laid out a peace plan for Syria that calls for a transitional governing body. It left open the question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.

Iran says it is the Syrian people who must decide who should rule them, in a free and fair election, and not the world powers.

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