MOSCOW (Reuters) - Global powers and Iran should “stop behaving like little children” and agree a date and place for new talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
European officials have accused Tehran of stalling on arranging a meeting with the six nations, including Russia, that are trying to prevent Iran developing atomic weapons. Tehran says its nuclear programme is entirely for peaceful purposes.
“Some of our partners in the six powers and the Iranian side cannot come to an agreement about where to meet,” Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.
“We are ready to meet at any location as soon as possible,” Lavrov said. “We believe the essence of our talks is far more important (than the site), and we hope that common sense will prevail and we will stop behaving like little children.”
Three rounds of talks in the first half of last year between Iran and the six powers - Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany - produced no breakthrough, increasing speculation Israel could attack Iranian nuclear installations.
Talks had been expected to resume after the U.S. presidential election, possibly as early as this month. An Iranian news agency reported this month that talks might resume on January 28 and 29, but the EU said there was no agreement.
Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel,; Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage