Moscow calls for the soonest possible lifting of the arms embargo against Iran in the event that an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is reached, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
"We want the arms embargo, in principle, to be one of the listed sanction restrictions lifted in the first turn," Lavrov said at a press conference on the sidelines of the SCO and BRICS summits in Ufa on July 9.
In the words of Lavrov, the arms embargo "should be lifted as soon as possible."
The minister evaded an Interfax question as to whether phased lifting of the arms embargo against Iran, which might take from two to eight years, was being discussed at negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program.
"I will confirm nothing because that would be a violation of negotiating ethics on my part. The result will be the way it will be announced," the Russian minister said.
"Indeed, the decision as to what type of compromise and what solution will be the cornerstone of resolution of the Iranian nuclear program will be clearly made by Tehran. This is a package deal, and it is up to our Iranian colleagues to decide which period for the lifting of the arms embargo to agree upon," Lavrov said.
The foreign minister said that Russia "stands for the soonest [possible] lifting of the embargo and will back the choice to be made by the Iranian negotiators."
"Iran is an unwavering supporter of the fight against ISIL, and the lifting of the arms embargo will help Iran bolster its combat capacity for fighting terrorism," Lavrov said.
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