Iran is expected to resume negotiations over its nuclear program within a month, as Russia and other countries pressure the Islamic republic's new leaders to return to the bargaining table, said Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"I hope it's a hiccup we have seen recently with the negotiations breaking down, that we will be able to bring the parties back to the negotiation table," Mr. ElBaradei said during a visit to Moscow.
Talks between Iran and the so-called EU3 group of European countries Germany, France and Britain broke down in August when Iran restarted its gas centrifuges, which can produce weapons-grade enriched uranium.
Iran says it only intends to manufacture low-grade uranium to fuel nuclear reactors, but the United States and other countries have expressed fears that the centrifuges will make bomb materials, reports the Globe and Mail.
Alexander Rumyantsev, the head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said on the sidelines of Wednesday's NTI lunch that he was also hopeful talks would resume, but warned that the referral of Iran to the Security Council was "not constructive" and that only dialogue could ensure that Tehran's nuclear program was peaceful.
After months of lobbying by the United States and the European Union, the IAEA board of directors voted last month to report Iran to the Security Council for failing to prove that its nuclear program was exclusively peaceful.
Russia, which has in the past staunchly opposed U.S. attempts to refer Iran to the Security Council, was one of 12 countries that abstained during the vote. The resolution passed 22-1, with Venezuela against, informs the Moscow Times.
Photo: the Kremlin PPS P.T.