Putin Plans To Visit Iran

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Iran where Russia will continue to assist in development of a civilian nuclear program, a senior Russian official said here Thursday.
"We do not have a concrete date for a visit by the president to Iran, but there is a firm agreement with the Iranian side that this visit will take place in the foreseeable future," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alekseyev said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Tehran for two days starting Sunday for talks with Iranian official that could finalize details for a trip there by Putin, Alekseyev told reporters at a briefing.
Iran is under mounting international pressure to suspend uranium enrichment activities until its nuclear program is investigated thoroughly by independent experts, and Russia is also being squeezed for assisting in its development.
Russia has called on Iran to comply strictly with all demands from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but Alekseyev rejected suggestions that Moscow should suspend its work in Iran's civilian nuclear program.
"We are working and will work with Iran in the area of nuclear development for civilian purposes," Alekseyev stated. "It has no importance whether there is pressure or not."
During his visit, Lavrov was due to discuss a series of economic projects with Iran as well as possible ways of cooperating to fight international terrorism.
"We could imagine a new document in which Russia and Iran could express their unacceptance of international terrorism and their decisive rejection of terrorist acts," Alekseyev said.
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