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Olmert meets Putin over Iran
Russian and Israeli leaders discuss Tehran's nuclear programme and Middle East peace.
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2007 23:49 GMT
Putin was warned that Russian arms "could change the balance of power in the region" [AFP]
The Russian president, just back from a visit to Iran, has spoken to the Israeli prime minister on Tehran's nuclear programme.
 
Vladimir Putin told Ehud Olmert at the Kremlin on Thursday: "We know how much you are worried by the situation about Iran's nuclear programme.
 
"I am ready to share with you the results of my visit to Tehran."
Olmert made a short visit to Russia and met Putin for over three hours before heading back to Israel, Miri Eisin, his spokeswoman, said in Jerusalem.
 
"The main topics of discussion were the situation surrounding Iran and the Middle East peace process," the Kremlin said without elaborating.

Call for sanctions 

 

Eisin said the two men spoke "extensively and in great detail" about the Iranian nuclear issue in talks which she described as "very warm".

 

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"The prime minister reiterated his stance that only effective sanctions by the world can stop Iran's nuclear aspirations."

 

She added that Olmert warned that Iran's and Syria's quest to acquire advanced weapons systems from Russia "could change the balance of power in the region".

 

On Tuesday Putin, the first Kremlin leader to visit Iran since Josef Stalin in 1943, rejected military action against Tehran.

 

Russia is helping Iran erect its first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

 

But Western governments fear the energy programme could be a precursor to building an atomic bomb.

 

Israeli accusations

 

Earlier on Thursday Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, accused Iran of trying to build an "empire" and spreading its "hegemony" over the region.

 

"On top of this they are building a nuclear bomb despite all their denials," he said.

 

"The evidence is clear because no country would spend millions and millions of dollars to build long-range missiles that can carry conventional weapons – it doesn't make sense."

 

Peres also said that Iran's strength lay in the split among the international community.

 

"I believe that if the international community shows a united position there won't be a need for a war or any bloodshed... and better to do it at the earliest possible call."

Source:
Agencies
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