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.
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
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
"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)