Iran's 'nuclear partner' Russia seeks to revive nuke talks

By REUTERS
August 14, 2011 15:20

 
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TEHRAN - Russia will look to revive nuclear talks between Iran and the world's biggest economic and military powers this week, hoping its special relationship with Tehran can help jolt back to life negotiations that some analysts consider "dead in the water."

Presidential Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev is due to meet his Iranian counterpart and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Monday and is expected to raise a Russian plan to restart the talks that collapsed in January.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US President Barack Obama in July of Moscow's "step-by-step" approach under which Iran could address questions about its nuclear program and be rewarded with a gradual easing of sanctions imposed by countries that fear Tehran is seeking nuclear weapons, a charge it denies.

With Israel and Washington both keeping open the possibility of launching pre-emptive strikes on Iran to stop it getting nuclear weapons, the negotiations are a possible way of avoiding what analysts say would be highly risky military action.

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