Iran deal 'steps' away: Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that global powers and Iran were "only steps" from a negotiated deal aimed at cutting back Tehran's nuclear programme, following marathon talks.
"The matters that are being decided now are close to being agreed, literally there are only steps, and in some cases half-steps, some things have already been settled," Lavrov said at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (STO), a Moscow-backed security organisation, in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
Russia's top diplomat did not disclose which points of the talks - taking place in the Swiss city of Lausanne and involving United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany as well as Iran - were close to agreement.
After 18 months of intense negotiations, the six world powers and Iran are hoping to agree a deal to put a lid on 12 years of rising tensions over Iran's nuclear programme.
The global powers and Iran have been involved in a week of talks in Lausanne but have yet to agree on a firm deal.
Other than Russia, the CSTO consists of ex-Soviet states Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
© 2015 AFP