Russia's chief negotiator on Iranian issues warned Wednesday there was "no reason to break into applause" after the latest round of talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme concluded in Geneva.
“The results are better than what we had (in the previous round) in Almaty, but this does not guarantee further progress. There is no reason to break into applause," Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying in the Swiss city.
"Things could have worked out better."
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Ryabkov said the distance between the positions taken by Iran and world powers on the issue "can be measured in kilometres, while the progress we are making can be measured in single steps".
He said the main outstanding difficulty concerned "the lack of a general understanding about sequencing” -- a reference to Iran's insistence that Western states revoke their unilateral sanctions before the Islamic republic scales back its uranium enrichment drive.
World powers insist that sanctions can be lifted only after Iran halts enrichment to high levels and opens unfettered access to its nuclear facilities.
Ryabkov especially noted the low level of trust that remained between the two sides despite the heightened expectations going into the two-day meeting.
“The talks were difficult, sometimes intense, and sometimes unpredictable. One of the reasons is the extremely low level of mutual trust – practically the absence of the required level of trust," Ryabkov said.