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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's leader says cooperation with Russia aimed at stability

RIA Novosti

30/04/2008 16:45 TEHRAN, April 30 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian cooperation with Russia is aimed at ensuring regional stability and security, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday at a meeting with Russia's acting Security Council chief.

Valentin Sobolev arrived in Tehran with a delegation of high-ranking Russian officials last Sunday. At a meeting on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad and Sobolev discussed international and regional issues, as well as bilateral economic cooperation and the Iranian nuclear program.

"Iran and Russia are two major powerful countries, and cooperation between our states in settling various problems will serve the interests of Russian and Iranian nations as well as regional and international security," the Iranian leader said.

He added that the two countries could play "an efficient role in establishing a new model of international relations."

Earlier on Wednesday, Sobolev passed on a message to Ahmadinejad from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The message said that Russia "confirms its principle position in its relations with Iran, and that its policy does not depend on who is in power at any moment," he said.

Putin will step down after two terms in office on May 7. He has already agreed to take up the post of premier under president-elect Dmitry Medvedev.

Iran has so far defied three rounds of relatively mild United Nations Security Council sanctions over its nuclear program. Many Western nations suspect that the Islamic Republic is using the program as cover to build a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists however that it needs the nuclear program for electric power generation.

Russia has been involved in negotiations within the so-called 'Iran Six' that also includes the United States, Britain, China, France, and Germany to persuade Iran to freeze uranium enrichment.

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