Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Iran and the six major powers (P5+1) have expressed interest in Russia's “step-by-step” approach towards Iran's nuclear energy program, though it was not the focus of their latest talks.

Ryabkov said Iran and the P5+1 -- Russia, China, Britain, France, the United States, and Germany - discussed the plan suggested by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their Istanbul talks on April 14, Reuters reported.

On July 13, 2011, Lavrov proposed the "step-by-step" approach to Iran's nuclear energy program in order to resolve the Western dispute over the country’s nuclear energy activities.

Under the proposed plan, the two sides would revive negotiations to address questions raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the nuclear issue.

Ryabkov, Russia's representative at the talks, said Iran and P5+1 indicated that they were “interested" in the proposal as one of a number of ideas being discussed with the purpose of defusing the Western standoff over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

"We are keeping all our proposals on the negotiating table, but the work now is proceeding in a somewhat different format," he said.

"We are working in order for the (six powers) to have a consolidated position, and our ideas are given weighty consideration in this regard," the Russian diplomat added.

On April 6, Ryabkov said Iran and the major world powers should take advantage of any potential breakthrough in their fresh round of talks.

The main idea of the “step-by-step” approach is “an action in exchange for action,” he added.

Iran and the P5+1 representatives hailed the latest round of negotiations in Istanbul as constructive and agreed to hold the next round of the talks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on May 23, 2012.

The United States, the Israeli regime and a number of their mostly Western allies have accused Tehran of seeking non-civilian diversions in its nuclear energy program.

Iran has frequently dismissed such allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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News ID 181739