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    Moscow urges further diplomacy to resolve Iran nuclear problem

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    Russia insists that political and diplomatic efforts be continued to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem, a deputy foreign minister said at a meeting with high-ranking Israeli officials Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, July 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia insists that political and diplomatic efforts be continued to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem, a deputy foreign minister said at a meeting with high-ranking Israeli officials Tuesday.

    Iran's nuclear program has been a source of major controversy since the beginning of the year, as many countries suspect the Islamic Republic of pursuing a covert weapons program under the pretext of civilian research, despite its claims to the contrary.

    "While discussing the situation around Iran's nuclear program, Sergei Kislyak stressed the need to continue efforts to resolve it through political and diplomatic means as part of full-fledged cooperation between Iran and the IAEA [ International atomic Energy Agency], with account for legal interests and concerns of all regional countries," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany drafted a package of incentives to persuade Iran to suspend work on enriching uranium, which could be used in both electricity generation and weapons production. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented the offer to Tehran during a visit to Iran June 6.

    Iran said it would respond to the incentives in August, but the United States, for one, has said it wants to hear an answer by July 12.

    The ministry said the diplomats also exchanged opinions on urgent issues, including nonproliferation and security.

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