MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister expressed disappointment Monday with Iran's behavior in the ongoing international impasse over its nuclear program, but left the door open for further discussion of a joint uranium-enrichment venture.
"We are highly disappointed with Tehran's conduct during these talks," Sergei Lavrov said. "Iran is absolutely failing to help those [parties] who are seeking peaceful ways to resolve this problem."
He refused to comment on Iran's decision to turn down a joint uranium-enrichment venture with Russia.
"I cannot comment, as Tehran is sending contradictory signals," he said, adding that the proposal "never depended on whether Iran would accept it or not."
"It was made as part of multilateral efforts in the search for peaceful solutions," he said.
The minister added that the two countries would hold bilateral talks on the nuclear file soon.
"The Iranian side approached us recently with a request to hold negotiations," Lavrov said.
Russia's initiative was widely seen as a compromise in the crisis surrounding the Islamic Republic, which many in the West suspect of pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program, a claim that Tehran has consistently rejected.