The Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran welcomes negotiations with Russia on a confidence-building, step-by-step approach proposed by Moscow.

According to Khabar Online correspondent, at a program broadcast by Iran's state TV last night, Mehmanparast said: "During talks with Russia, the Russian negotiators proposed a step-by-step approach which we welcome since we believe it has been suggested out of a good will."
 
The step-by-step approach is aimed at taking measures by the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond to the questions of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear program. The plan has been revised recently since its first draft was offered to meet the demands of Tehran.
 
Based on the plan proposed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Iran would enter into a new phase of negotiations on its nuclear program to ease the concerns of IAEA, and instead the West would remove a part of its economic sanctions imposed on Iran.
 
Mehmanparast stated that the plan contains positive points: "However there are other points which must be studied and consulted more carefully. During the first round of bilateral meetings with Russian officials, we described our views and it is supposed that the plan take the Iranian expert opinions into consideration."
 
"We believe the step-by-step approach could prepare the ground for cooperation between different countries [on peaceful use of nuclear energy] and making technical discussions," the Foreign Ministry spokesman added.
 
He then responded to a question about whether the Russia's plan would be involved in negotiations between Iran and 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany) or not.
 
"It depends on the view of 5+1 group to consider the step-by-step approach and begin negotiating on that. The Western countries have not directly expressed their view on the Russia's plan but because we regard it as a good will proposal, we started to talk about the plan with Russia," the Foreign Ministry spokesman added.
 
The latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors claims Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon.
 
As a member of the IAEA and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Tehran firmly rejects such allegations and stresses that the program is aimed at peaceful purposes including medical research and treatment as well as producing electricity.
 
However on the pretext of that report, the United States imposed new economic sanctions on Tehran including an amendment barring foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central Bank (CBI) from opening or maintaining correspondent operations in the United States.
 
Meanwhile, Russia has said it does not approve the sanctions which go beyond the resolutions passed by the Unites Nations Security Council.
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