Russian, Iranian foreign ministers to meet in Moscow for nuclear talks

Russian Foreign Minister met his Iranian counterpart in Moscow on Monday amid intense diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis over Tehran's alleged nuclear weapons program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's talks in Moscow coincided with a visit by U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, the second high-ranking U.S. administration official in two weeks to travel to Moscow for talks with Russian officials on issues including Iran.

Sergey Lavrov opened the talks by expressing satisfaction "that our political dialogue is developing intensively."

"Our current consultations testify to the high level of our relations as two great powers whose cooperation is an important factor of regional and international security and stability," Mottaki responded.

The United States suspects Iran's nuclear program is a cover for developing weapons. Iran has denied that and says it is interested only in generating electricity.

Iran rejected last month's resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that puts it just one step away from referral to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

To avoid that, the International Atomic Energy Agency has told Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities including uranium conversion, give up construction of a heavy water nuclear reactor and allow more extensive inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Iran's government has already threatened that, unless the U.N. nuclear agency backs down, it will resume uranium enrichment and block inspections.

The IAEA resolution was passed after Iran rejected a European package that called on Iran to permanently give up uranium enrichment. Talks between Britain, Germany, France and Iran collapsed in early August after Iran resumed uranium-reprocessing activities, reports the AP.