21:53 GMT13 June 2021
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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)
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    Moscow and Washington are represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

    Officials from the P5+1 and the European Union wait for a meeting at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland March 29, 2015
    © REUTERS / Brendan Smialowski/Pool
    LAUSANNE (Sputnik) — Russian and US officials held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ongoing negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear program, a diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

    "Russia and the United States held a bilateral meeting," the source told RIA Novosti.

    The diplomat added that Moscow and Washington are represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the negotiation table on Iran’s nuclear energy issue, replaced by Ryabkov as country's representative at the talks.

    The P5+1 countries — Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany — have been negotiating with Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, fearing Tehran is developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian energy program.

    Tuesday was the deadline for the negotiators to hammer out an agreement but the talks continued into the night and resumed on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that most steps toward an agreement between world powers and Iran have been made.

    Meanwhile French Foreign Ministry political director for Iranian affairs Nicolas de Riviere said Wednesday that France doubts that a political framework agreement will be reached during the current round of talks.

    A joint statement on the progress of the negotiations is expected to be made later on Wednesday.

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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)

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    nuclear negotiations, Iran's Nuclear Program, Wendy Sherman, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia, US, Iran
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