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Putin makes proposals to Iran
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has brought forward a nuclear proposal to Iran's supreme leader during his visit to Tehran, the state-media reported on Wednesday.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin shake hands during an official welcome ceremony in Tehran Oct. 16, 2007. Putin arrived in Tehran on Tuesday morning for a landmark visit despite warnings of a possible assassination plot.


Iranian top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani disclosed that Putin gave a "message" to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, saying "nuclear issue was part of it and we are now examine it."


No more details about the proposal was released up to now, but it was expected to be known in the coming days.


According to the report of official IRNA news agency, Khamenei told Putin he would "consider the proposals," but insisted Iran would "continue to satisfy the needs of the country in nuclear energy and that's why Iran takes seriously enrichment issue."


Khamenei has the final say on all matters in Iran. "Putin's visit was mainly in order to hand this message personally to Iran's decisive power", a local analyst said.


Putin arrived in Tehran Tuesday to attend the second Caspian Sea littoral nations summit with other four presidents from Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.


His visit was especially noticeable since there were rumors and media reports of a possible assassination plot on him during his visit, which is the first by a Kremlin chief since Josef Stalin visited the country in 1943.


Besides the summit, it was widely believed that bilateral relations with Iran and nuclear issue were also the major topics among the Russian leader's visit in Tehran.


Putin also met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally after the summit. According to local media reports, Putin pledged his country would abide by its obligations to finalize the postponed Bushehr nuclear power plant as soon as possible, but refused to set a date for its launch.


Iranian media have applauded for Putin's arrival, saying it could be a balance power against great pressure from the US and other Western countries.


US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the US government expected Putin to "convey the concerns shared by all of us about the failure of Iran to comply with the international community's requirements concerning its nuclear program."


The US accused Iran of developing atomic program 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 uranium enrichment, warning the West not to force Iran too much.


"The Iranian people and leadership are not scared of threat, believe me," Putin said in Germany during his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.


(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)

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