Russian president challenges US policy towards Iran, says Tehran should not be isolated.
BUCHAREST - Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged US policy toward Iran on Friday and said that the Islamic republic should be helped to emerge from isolation, instead of being threatened.
"No one can seriously think that Iran would dare attack the United States," a source in the Russian delegation at the NATO-Russia summit in Bucharest quoted Putin as telling leaders.
"Instead of pushing Iran into a corner, it would be far more sensible to think together how to help Iran become more predictable and transparent."
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview published Friday that he would reject any new incentives in return for suspending uranium enrichment.
"This is a non-negotiable subject," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling Japan's Kyodo News when asked about possible incentives carrying conditions that Iran suspend its enrichment activities.
"Iran is a nuclear country and has no reason to give up the technology. If there are to be any preconditions, we must propose preconditions," he said.
Ahmadinejad told Kyodo that the suspension of its uranium enrichment programme was an issue related to the past as "we have passed this stage."
He said Tehran would negotiate only with the UN atomic agency.
Iran insists its uranium enrichment is only needed to make atomic fuel for power stations.