Putin: No reason to close programmes with Iran if it complies with all requirements

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not see any reason to close programmes with Iran provided Teheran complies with all requirements of the international community.

"If Iran meets all requirements of the international community, opens all its programmes, signs the IAEA additional protocol on guarantees, there is no reason to restrict cooperation with it, especially in such a sensitive sphere as the nuclear one," the Russian leader announced at a press conference in Bangkok.

"If Iran does not strive after acquiring nuclear weapons, we do not see any reason to close programmes of cooperation," he said. Moscow is fairly outspoken about this with its Iranian partners, he added.

Russia and Iran have a long history of partnership, the President pointed out. "We insist on solving certain problems: return of spent nuclear fuel, which can be supplied within a joint programme. If all these issues are closed and solved, to which I do not see any hindrances, we do not have reasons not to cooperate with our partners," Putin concluded.

The situation around Iran remains one of the most topical problems of the present, he pointed out.

"Certainly, whenever occasion serves we discuss this problem with our partners, the President of France, the Chancellor of Germany, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and, of course, US President George Bush," he said.

Putin refused to forecast the results of the French, British and German representatives' visit to Iran, but said their approach to the problem was similar to the Russian stand. "I do not dare to give it out as a common position, but I feel that our approaches to the problem are approximately similar," the Russian leader said.

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