Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran on Tuesday
morning for a landmark visit despite warnings of a possible
Putin is currently attending a Caspian Sea states summit in
Tehran and will hold meetings with Iranian leaders during his
visit, which is the first by a Kremlin chief since Josef Stalin
visited the country in 1943.
The Russian leader was welcomed by Iranian Foreign Minister
Manouchehr Mottaki at the airport and later officially welcomed by
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Russia's Interfax news agency had reported earlier according to
sources from Kremlin's security services that a suicide bomber was
planning to kill Putin when he visits Iran, but Putin shrugged off
the rumors during his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
"Of course I am going to Iran, if I always listen to what the
security services said, I will never leave home," said Putin.
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini has
dismissed the report and accused it of trying to harm ties between
Iran and Russia.
The Russian president pays his visit to Iran amid growing
tensions between Tehran and Western countries over its disputed
The United States accused Iran of developing atomic bomb under
civilian cover and is now pushing the UN Security Council to impose
a third sanction resolution against Tehran since last December, but
Iranian officials have repeatedly denied the accusations and said
they just wanted to generate electricity.
Russia has said it insisted peaceful dialogue was the only way
to deal with Tehran's defiance over the UN demand of halting the
uranium enrichment work, warning the West not to force Iran too
"The Iranian people and leadership are not scared of threat,
believe me," Putin has said in Germany.
(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2007)