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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Putin arrives in Tehran despite warning

SOURCE ALMANARtTV

16/10/2007

Russian President Vladimir Putin, brushing off the threat of a reported plot to assassinate him, arrived in Iran on Tuesday for talks with Iran's leaders focusing on Tehran's nuclear row with the West. The Russian president was officially welcomed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Saadabad castle in Tehran.

Putin is due to attend a summit of five Caspian Sea states aimed at bringing them closer to a deal on dividing the sea and its huge oil and gas resources. Putin is visiting the Islamic Republic ahead of parliamentary elections in December and amid speculation on how he will maintain a grasp on power in Russia after he quits the top job. His visit also comes amid increasing pressure to impose sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program, something Moscow and other allies are against.

Kremlin officials said on Monday that plans for the visit were in doubt after a Russian news agency report said about assassination plot against him. Iran said the report was baseless and Putin shrugged it off. "If we have a chance to keep up these direct contacts, then we will do it, hoping for a positive, mutually advantageous result," Putin said in Germany before his arrival. Tehran says the visit by Putin and other leaders at the Caspian summit shows U.S. efforts to isolate it are failing.

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