February 21, 2006

Iranian nuclear negotiators leaving Moscow: Ifax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iranian nuclear negotiators were poised
to leave Moscow on Tuesday with no word of any progress on
Moscow's proposal to enrich Iranian uranium on Russian soil,
the Interfax news agency said.

"The Iranian delegation is leaving Moscow today at 12:00
(0900 GMT) from Sheremetyevo airport," Interfax quoted Iran's
embassy in Moscow as saying in a statement. The embassy could
not be immediately reached to confirm the report.

The Russian offer on joint uranium enrichment is designed
to ease international concerns that Tehran wants a nuclear bomb
and is seen by some as the last chance to defuse the row over
Tehran's nuclear ambitions before Western governments seek

A senior Iranian official in Tehran said the talks would
continue in Iran's capital. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's
atomic energy agency Rosatom is scheduled to travel to Iran
later this week.

"Another round of the (Iran-Russia) talks will take place
in Tehran in the coming days," the Iranian official, who asked
not to be named, told Reuters.

Speaking earlier on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov said: "I would be cautious about using the terms
'collapse' or 'failure' until the talks are over," Itar-Tass
news agency reported.

It was unclear if the Moscow talks were still underway when
Lavrov was speaking.

Iran's delegation was led by Ali Hosseintash, a deputy head
of the National Security Council.

(Additional reporting by Tehran bureau)