Russian FM Lavrov to visit Iran next week

Russian FM Lavrov to visit Iran next week

Moscow: Sides will discuss steps to resolve outstanding nuclear issues

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit Iran next week, amid a flurry of diplomatic activity surrounding a nuclear deal that allows the West to ease sanctions on Tehran, Russia’s foreign ministry said Friday.

Lavrov will discuss “steps to resolve issues related to [Tehran’s] nuclear program in light of the agreements that were recently reached in Geneva,” a foreign ministry spokesman said, according to the Russian Interfax news agency.

Russia has long backed Tehran in its nuclear standoff with the West, and was a party to an agreement last month in Geneva between Iran and six world powers that will roll back sanctions in exchange for curbs on uranium enrichment and more robust international oversight of nuclear facilities.

United Nations Inspectors are slated to visit the Arak heavy water production plant, linked to a plutonium reactor, for the first time on Sunday, marking one of the first fruits of the deal.

Also on the agenda will be bilateral ties and “regional problems,” according to the foreign ministry spokesman, likely a reference to the ongoing civil war in Syria. Both Moscow and Tehran have been among Syrian President Bashar Assad’s most stalwart supporters.

The two day visit by Lavrov will begin on Tuesday, Voice of Russia reported. The announcement did not say who he would meet with.

This will be Lavrov’s first trip to Iran since President Hassan Rouhani was elected to office. He last visited in January 2012.

read more: