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Politics And Military

* Resurfacing Shock and Awe, why is this different?  Ali Behrooz

* Mr President, Barack Obama,  Ali Behrooz

* Iran’s Conservatives Are Deceiving Themselves  Tariq Alhomayed

* Just When it Ends in Basra, it Begins in Mosul!  Huda al Husseini

* Putin promises Iran continuity in relations: RIA  News Report

* New U.S. carrier in Gulf a 'reminder' to Iran: Gates  News Report

* Iran displays 1800 km-range missile  News Report

* U.S., Iraqi Forces Continue to Battle in Sadr City  News Report

* Iran Top Threat To Iraq, U.S. Says  News Report

* Sadr not U.S. enemy if he sticks to politics: Gates  News Report

* British fear US commander is beating the drum for Iran strikes  News Report

* Pakistan Mulls Talking with Terrorists  News Report

* Shia leader tries to contain militia  News Report

* Bush to maintain Iraq troop numbers  News Report

* McCain doesn't rule out preemptive war  News Report

* Winds of Change  Pablo Ouziel

* Obama Adviser Calls for Troops To Stay in Iraq Through 2010  News Report

* Iran helped end Iraq fighting: Iraq party adviser  News Report

* McCain's "war on terror" remix  News Report

* Saudi Arabia's justice minister departs for Tehran  News Report

* Deployment of Foreign Troops an Insult to Regional States  News Report

* Gun-shy America is losing the best chance to stop Iran  News Report

* Khatami rallies Iran reformists  News Report

* Iran says will soon hold talks with U.S. on Iraq  News Report

* Iran says has built new long-range missile  News Report

* U.S. military in Iraq says to release 9 Iranians  News Report

* U.S. sees decline in Iran-linked bombs found in Iraq  News Report

* Russia and China fall in line on Iran  News Report

* Iran letter sparks new fight between Clinton, Obama  News Report

* Bombing Iran will ensure world peace  News Report

* King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism  Robert Fisk

* Ahmadinejad to Visit S. Arabia mid Nov.  News Report

* Iranian Guard 'ready to defend revolution'  News Report

* Iran to give crushing response to possible attacks: minister  News Report

* Bush: Missile shield is meant to deter Iran  News Report

* Iran Accuses US of Manufacturing Genetic Weapons  News Report

* Blair: Terror threat like fascism  Tony Blair

* US arrogant attitudes pave way for 'World War III': Cleric  News Report

* Russia’s Putin hunts diplomatic solution in Iran  News Report

* Clinton says she would negotiate with Iran if elected president  News Report

* Britain 'on board' for US strikes on Iran  News Report

* Iran, sanctions and the rumours of war  News Report

* No Iran strike plans, says Blair  Tony Blair

* Gates: Diplomatic efforts to counter Iranian nuclear program are working  News Report

* McCain Jokes About Bombing Iran  Liz Sidoti

* Tehran expects update on cases of two Iranians murdered in France: MP  News Report

* Iran is not a safe haven for terrorists  News Report

* Iran at threat?  News Report

* Iran trying to recruit Israeli spies  News Report

* Iran: Signals on 5 Diplomats  News Report


Russia’s Putin hunts diplomatic solution in Iran
[ News Report]  [2007-10-14 17:10:40]
[Source: Khaleej Times - 14/10/07]


(Reuters)

14 October 2007

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin will show his preference for dialogue with Iran when he visits Teheran on Tuesday, amid calls from the West for stronger pressure on Iran to curb suspected plans for a nuclear bomb.

Putin, the first Kremlin chief to visit Iran since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin went in 1943, will formally be in Teheran for a summit of Caspian Sea states.

But a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could give the Kremlin leader a chance to seek a peaceful compromise over Teheran’s nuclear programme and to demonstrate his independence from Washington on Middle East issues.

“Putin is going to Iran to show the importance of continuing diplomacy,” Kremlin deputy spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Putin will tell Ahmadinejad that Russia accepts Iran’s right to use nuclear energy but wants it to open up its nuclear programme to international inspectors to prove it is peaceful, Peskov added.

The West suspects Iran wants to develop atomic weapons under the cover of a civil nuclear programme. Iran says its programme is intended to generate power so it can export more oil and gas.

Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has backed two sets of mild sanctions against Iran to encourage it to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

But Moscow, alarmed by rumours that the United States could launch a military strike on Iran, says it will not back further sanctions unless the IAEA says Iran is not cooperating or proves it is working on weapons.

“We have no real data to claim that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, which makes us believe the country has no such plans. But we agree that Iran’s programmes must be transparent,” Putin said after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy this week.

Critics say Moscow has other reasons for wanting to soft-pedal the Iran issue. These may include a large contract to build a nuclear power plant at Bushehr in Iran, as well as lucrative military deals.

Another is that a standoff with the West over Iran would fit in with Moscow’s newly assertive foreign policy aimed at building Russia’s profile, particularly among developing nations, in the post-Cold War world.

Tougher sanctions

The European Union is expected to step up pressure on Iran next week, warning Teheran it will face tougher sanctions unless it halts uranium enrichment, which is viewed as its most suspicious activity by the West.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the West after talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday against sanctioning Iran bypassing the United Nations.

But he also pledged that Putin would in Teheran “continue the current line of work with the Iranian leadership, which reflects the collective position of the Six (states in talks with Iran) and the UN Security Council”.

The six nations negotiating with Iran on its nuclear programme are the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain. Putin’s visit to Teheran has been repeatedly postponed since 2005.

Russia argues that excessive pressure against Teheran could be counter-productive, as well as destabilising the mainly Muslim region next to its southern borders. But economic reasons are also important for Moscow.

Analysts say the Bushehr plant, whose completion Russia has postponed quoting technical problems, could become a major bargaining chip.

“I think Putin may propose to Iranians giving up uranium enrichment in exchange for Russian fuel for Bushehr,” Rajab Safarov, head of the Centre of Iranian Studies, said.

Ahead of Teheran, Putin will visit Germany on Sunday and Monday for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and a traditional business conference known as the “St Petersburg dialogue”.

 





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