Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says a U.S. draft proposal for a nuclear deal had been accepted by Iran and was supported by Russia, but last-minute amendments blocked the parties from reaching an accord in Geneva.

According to Interfax, Lavrov did not mention exactly which country introduced the last-minute changes last week, when world powers met with Iranian nuclear negotiators in Geneva. There have been reports, however, that the French foreign minister had concerns that he felt must be addressed before an accord could be reached.

Later, U.S. officials denied any rift with their French counterparts and claimed it was the Iranian delegation that had needed to consult with Tehran.

The Russian foreign minister said the amended document was handed to parties at the last minute without consultation from all parties. Lavrov said on Thursday November 14 that when talks resume next week, the parties should not give up on “agreements that have already been shaped.”

Lavrov stressed that he has not observed any serious problems with the new draft but added that the wording must be approved by all the 5+1 members as well as Iran.

Lavrov said there is now the first draft presented by the U.S. as well as the one distributed to the parties at the last minute last week, and both will have to be examined when the talks resume.

The 5+1 and the Iranian delegation will meet again in Geneva on November 20.