Iran Nuclear NewsRussia FM delivers 'Putin message' to Iran

Russia FM delivers ‘Putin message’ to Iran

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AFP: Russia’s foreign minister delivered a mystery Kremlin message to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his surprise trip to Iran amid growing tensions over the its atomic drive, media reports said on Wednesday. TEHRAN (AFP) — Russia’s foreign minister delivered a mystery Kremlin message to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his surprise trip to Iran amid growing tensions over the its atomic drive, media reports said on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “submitted a message to the Iranian president from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin” during his brief evening visit Tuesday, Iranian state media said.

No further details over the message were disclosed.

However, the reports come two weeks after a landmark trip to Iran by Putin, who some Iranian officials said made a proposal over the Iranian nuclear programme to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

During the talks with Lavrov, Ahmadinejad reaffirmed Iran’s stance in its nuclear progamme, vowing not to back down in the face of international pressure and to continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agecny (IAEA).

“Tehran is determined to continue its cooperation with the agency,” he said pledging that the country “will continue peaceful nuclear activities.”

Lavrov was quoted by the Russian news agency Interfax as saying after the talks that US sanctions against Iran were “not helpful” but also calling on Iran to be “more active” in cooperating with the UN atomic agency.

Ahmadinejad described the sudden trip — announced only a few hours before Lavrov’s arrival — as a continuation of discussions between himself and Putin earlier this month.

“The talks with Lavrov were in line with the trip of Putin,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a meeting with his cabinet members on Wednesday.

“It was to follow up the plans agreed during Putin’s trip to Tehran with regard to international and regional issues as well as an exchange of views between the two countries,” he said.

Putin’s mid-October visit was the first by a Kremlin chief since World War II and was hailed by Iran as a major diplomatic success in the face of US pressures to isolate Tehran over the nuclear standoff.

Moscow has expressed suspicion of US efforts to mobilise international actions against Iran, which is defying Western demands to halt sensitive nuclear activities.

Putin has in recent weeks been increasingly critical of US moves for more UN sanctions and unilateral sanctions as well as Washington’s refusal to rule out military action against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

“You can run around like mad people wielding razor blades but it is not the best way to resolve the problem,” he said last Thursday ahead of an EU-Russia summit in Lisbon.

The United States and its European allies accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear bomb and are threatening a third set of UN sanctions against Tehran to punish its nuclear defiance.

However Russia, a veto-wielding permanent UN Security Council member which has close economic ties with Tehran, has repeatedly expressed doubt over the Western claims that Iran’s nuclear drive has military aims.

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