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Russian Foreign Minister: Iran nuclear deal sidetracked by late amendments


In this Nov. 9, 2013, photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, third left, meets with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, center, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, third right, at the Iran Nuclear talks in Geneva, Switzerland. The deadlocked international effort to sign a nuclear deal with Iran has spurred a global blame game over who walked away from the negotiating table and why. It's a war of words playing out in public statements from top officials and across social media, with a bluntness that stands in stark contrast to the secretive and diplomatic nature of the negotiations themselves. And it raises questions about whether the debate will compound the years of mistrust between Iran and the West when the parties reconvene in Geneva for another round of talks next week. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, Pool) (The Associated Press)

Russia's foreign minister says Iran had accepted a U.S.-draft proposal on a nuclear deal, but last-minute amendments blocked an accord last week in Geneva.

Sergey Lavrov's account fits with comments from Iran and world powers. But it offers additional insights into how Washington apparently led the negotiations seeking to ease Western concerns that Iran could one day produce nuclear weapons — a charge Iran denies.

Lavrov did not mention which country offered the 11th hour amendments. Others, however, say France raised concerns over issues such as a planned heavy water rector that produces more byproduct plutonium.

Lavrov expressed hope Thursday that envoys will not abandon "agreements that already have been shaped" and strike a pact with Iran when talks resume next week.

Lavrov spoke during a high-level visit to Egypt.