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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Urges Iran to Show Goodwill in Nuclear Spat

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday urged Iran to show goodwill in resolving the dispute over its nuclear program as a senior Iranian envoy held talks in Moscow.

Lavrov told Ali Akbar Velayati, an envoy of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Moscow hoped for a positive response in Tehran to its efforts to achieve a solution.

President Vladimir Putin said last week that Moscow backed a "time-out" proposed by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, which calls for holding off on imposing UN sanctions if Tehran suspends uranium enrichment in its nuclear program.

"We sent corresponding signals to Tehran ... with good will on all sides, we can find a fair solution based on international law," Lavrov said at the start of his talks with Velayati.

Velayati said Iran supported Russia in its efforts to resolve the dispute.

"There are no doubts that Russia, as an important world power, and Iran, as an important regional power, will play a key role in the future of this sensitive region," he said.

"The steps which Russia is taking in this direction of course have the support of Iran," Velayati said. He later met with Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, who visited Tehran last month.

"We attach important significance to the Russian-Iranian political dialogue, which allows the regular exchange of opinions on bilateral relations and real international problems," he told Ivanov.

"We highly appreciate the development of Russian-Iranian relations in all spheres."

Iranian state-run radio said late last month that Tehran wanted Moscow to help mediate the standoff, saying Tehran's leaders were looking to Russia for new proposals, such as enrichment of uranium on Russian soil.

In December, Russia supported a UN Security Council resolution that imposed limited sanctions against Iran after it had ignored calls to halt uranium enrichment.