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There has been quite a bit of talk this week about the intense security restrictions placed on reporters in Geneva. Swiss security guards took things a step further Friday when Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov arrived at the Intercon hotel, shushing reporters and telling them they weren't allowed to ask questions.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, arrived in Geneva on Friday night to take part in negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme as diplomats said there were just a few outstanding issues preventing a breakthrough.
Lavrov's spokeswoman said that Lavrov would meet the UN special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, while in Switzerland, though details of the meeting had yet to be arranged. The main reason for flying to Geneva, she said, was to take part in the Iran talks. Li Baodong, China's deputy foreign minister, also arrived on Friday at the talks venue, a central Geneva hotel.
There were reports that the US secretary of state, John Kerry, would come for the conclusion of negotiations, but with the outcome in the balance late Friday, the state department could not confirm his movements.
The flurry of raised expectations came on the third day of the third round of intense and detailed nuclear talks with Iran since the election of the reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, aimed at a deal that would defuse tensions in the Gulf and push back the threat of a new war in the Middle East.
Diplomats in Geneva said talks had whittled down the number of sticking points to a small handful. There were also unconfirmed reports that one of the most intractable issues, the question of Iran's right to enrich uranium, had been resolved with a form of words in the draft agreement that satisfied both sides.