MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow expressed skepticism over the results of nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers which ended on Wednesday, with a senior Russian diplomat saying the two sides were "kilometers apart" in their approaches.
After discussions in Geneva involving Iran and the five U.N. Security Council members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - and Germany, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said he saw no guarantee of progress in future talks.
"The result is better than in Almaty (talks in April), but it does not guarantee further progress, there could have been better cooperation," Ryabkov was quoted by Interfax as saying.
"One of the reasons was an exceptionally low level of mutual trust, almost the lack of required trust," he was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.
"The positions of the Iranian side and the group (of six powers) are wide apart from each other - the distance can be measured in kilometers, while advances forward can be measured in steps - half a meter each."
Western diplomats praised the two-day round, expressing hope of success in further talks set for November 7-8, again in Geneva.
The Islamic Republic began negotiations with the six powers after Hassan Rouhani was elected president in June, promising conciliation over confrontation in relations with the rest of the world.
Ryabkov said the rhetoric of the nuclear talks was different due to the change of leadership.
"We felt that indeed the tone of talks, the character of discussions reflected those changes," he was quoted as saying. "At the same time the talks were difficult, at times tense, at times unpredictable."
Western powers and their allies suspect Tehran is seeking the capability to produce nuclear bombs. Iran denies it, saying its nuclear program is peaceful.
Iran has for years demanded the West lift sanctions on its oil and banking sector and recognize its right to enrich uranium before it makes any concessions.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Andrew Roche)
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