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Russia sees no advance in resolving Iran's nuclear dispute with West

(Xinhua)

09:50, August 17, 2011

MOSCOW, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iran and the West so far have not come closer regarding their stances on the nuclear problem, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said here on Tuesday.

"I can't say we see any practical desire of the sides to refuse their exaggerated demands. The efforts to do so have been futile so far," Ryabkov told a media briefing.

He called on both sides to give up unrealistic expectations, as the West expects Iran to stop uranium enrichment, while Iran expects the West to cancel all the sanctions and to recognize its right to enrich uranium.

"That won't happen without reciprocal steps," Ryabkov said.

The Russian diplomat said that Moscow has proposed its option for resolving the dispute based on the agreements reached in mid- July, when Russian top diplomat Sergei Lavrov proposed a new "step- by-step" approach to restart the talks.

"This plan is more realistic. Its essence is stepping and reciprocity," Ryabkov said.

He added that Russia would keep cooperating with the U.S. on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Ryabkov made the remarks as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is scheduled to visit Moscow Tuesday and Wednesday and meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss the upcoming launch of the Bushehr nuclear power plant and the settlement of the nuclear issue.

Moscow is seeking to revive negotiations between Iran and major world powers -- the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany.

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