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Russian envoy helps advance Iranian nuclear deal

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has played a highly constructive role in helping to advance an Iran nuclear deal despite tensions between the Kremlin and the West.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov looks on at the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks at the United Nations offices in Geneva October 15, 2013. Iran will face pressure on Tuesday to propose scaling back its nuclear programme to win relief from crippling sanctions as talks between world powers and Tehran resume after a six-month hiatus. REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool (SWITZERLAND - Tags: ENERGY POLITICS) - RTX14BOO

When Russia and Iran last month announced that they had signed a contract for the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom to build more nuclear power reactors in Iran, some observers saw it as a bad sign for the nuclear negotiations underway in Vienna. After all, if Iran was preparing to sign a nuclear deal with six world powers, why was it enlisting Russia to build more nuclear power stations before the terms of the deal were even agreed?

But US and Western officials and experts say the prospective Russia-Iran energy deal may help resolve one of the toughest issues in the nuclear talks — the size of Iran’s enrichment capacity in a final deal — and they have recently gone out of their way to praise the Russian role in the sensitive nuclear negotiations as being highly constructive, professional and creative.

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