Russia says Iran, West "interested" in nuclear offer

MOSCOW - A Russian diplomat said on Wednesday that Iran and Western nations had shown interest in a Russian proposal aimed to help defuse the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program, but suggested it had not been the focus of talks this month.
Russia has been calling for a "step-by-step" resolution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which Western nations fear is aimed at developing nuclear weapons and Tehran says is purely peaceful.
Moscow says Iran should take measures to ease concerns about its intentions and comply with UN demands, and in return be rewarded with the gradual easing of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council and Western states.
In a proposal aired in February, Russia says that as a start, Iran could freeze the number of centrifuges for uranium enrichment at current levels and place other restrictions on its centrifuge use. In return, global powers would refrain from imposing new sanctions on Tehran.