No Iran nuke deal worries Russia

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IOL pic sep20 iran saeed jalili Associated Press Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili

Moscow - Moscow is alarmed that no date or venue has been agreed for a new round of talks between global powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday.

Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking to develop a capability to make nuclear weapons, said last week it had agreed to resume talks in January with six powers. But Ryabkov said there was no final agreement on a date or venue.

“This alarms us, because the pause has dragged on,” the Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov, the Russian negotiator, as saying. “As a nation and a member of the 'group of six' we are working actively to find a solution.”

There was no breakthrough in three rounds of talks since April 2012 and Israel has stepped up talk of pre-emptive attacks on Iranian nuclear sites, lending urgency to diplomacy.

Western diplomatic sources said on Friday that Iran has yet to respond to a proposal to hold a new round of talks next week with the six nations - the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany.

Global powers, particularly in the West, want to rein in Iran's uranium enrichment work. Tehran says it is refining uranium for peaceful ends only but enrichment yields material that can be used to make nuclear bombs if processed further. - Reuters

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