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Russian Negotiator: Iran Nuclear Talks Nearly Stalled

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (file photo)

A Russian negotiator in the Iran nuclear talks says there is a "very worrying" slowdown in progress between Iran and six major powers as a June 30 deadline looms to finalize an accord.

Sergei Rybakov was quoted in Vienna by RIA Novosti on June 12 as saying that "the rate of progressively slowing down."

He added that "this is very worrying to us because there is very little time before the deadline."

Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, spoke as he arrived for the next round of talks. No progress was reported in the June 12 session.

In April, officials from Iran and Russia, Britain, China, France, Germany, and the United States agreed in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the outlines of a permanent deal that would curb Tehran's controversial nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

The United States has said it stands by the end-of-June deadline for the deal, but other countries say an extension of the time limit may be necessary.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and TASS