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Russia Says Iran Needs ‘Real Incentives’ to Resolve Nuclear Row

13th April 2012

By Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer

World powers should offer Iran “real incentives” to allow full monitoring of its nuclear program rather than demanding an immediate end to uranium enrichment, Russia’s top official at talks in Istanbul said.

The first negotiations in 15 months between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. -- plus Germany, represent an “urgent” chance to counter the threat of military action, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

“We see a very clear tendency toward escalating tensions,” Ryabkov said in a telephone interview during a stopover in Munich en route to Istanbul today after attending a Group of Eight foreign ministers’ meeting in Washington. “The major way forward” is to broker an accord between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency to allay suspicions it’s seeking nuclear weapons in return for economic incentives and security guarantees, he said.

Overshadowing tomorrow’s round of talks are threats from both Israel and the U.S. to stage military action to stop what they say are Iran’s advancing efforts to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. Iran, which faces a ban on oil exports to the European Union from July 1, insists its atomic activities are in line with its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty rights.

A Russian proposal made last year for a “step-by-step” solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute under which the Persian Gulf state would be rewarded gradually with an easing of sanctions for its cooperation with the IAEA is still “on the table,” Ryabkov said.

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