Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency today quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and nuclear negotiator Sergei Ryabkov as saying that, “The positions of Iran and the six world powers are far apart on the issue of uranium enrichment.” (Fars News Agency, 23 March)
Fars also added that Ryabkov’s comments were in contrast to Iran’s own foreign minister’s assessment of the talks.
“(Ryabkov’s) remarks came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed pleasure in the recent nuclear talks with the world powers, and said major progress has been made in the negotiations,” said Fars
Fars reprinted a quote from IRNA’s interview with him on Thursday:
“Another successful outcome of Vienna II has been the fact that the position of all sides on the four major issues -- enrichment, sanctions, international peaceful nuclear cooperation and the Arak reactor -- has been clarified, according to Zarif.”
Fars, believed to generally represent the country’s hard right, has been cautious, and at times uncomfortable, with reported success at nuclear negotiations, which aim to reach final comprehensive accord on the country’s nuclear program.