Putin sends message to Iran's supreme leader to strengthen ties
www.chinaview.cn 2007-01-29 03:37:15

    TEHRAN, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message on expanding mutual ties to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

    The message was submitted on Sunday to Khamenei by Russia's Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, who arrived in Tehran Saturday night for talks with Iranian officials, IRNA said.

    During his meeting with Ivanov, Khamenei said that Iran and Russia can serve as partners in the political, economic, regional and international domains.

    "The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes all-out promotion of relations with Russia, believing that capacity for expansion of ties between the two sides is higher than expected," Khamenei was quoted as saying.

    The Iranian supreme leader pointed out that Iran and Russia hold half of the world's total gas reserves and "the two countries through mutual cooperation can establish an organization of gas exporting countries like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)."

    For his part, Ivanov said that Putin believes the two countries should use all their capacities for promotion of strategic relations and cooperation at bilateral, regional and international levels.

    Calling his talks in Tehran "positive," Ivanov said Moscow believes prospect of cooperation between the two countries is "very good and promising."

    However, the IRNA report did not mention whether Khamenei and Ivanov discussed Iran's controversial nuclear issue, although the Russian security chief's visit came amid increasing international tension over Tehran's atomic program.

    During his visit on Sunday, Ivanov had also held talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani.

    In his meeting with Mottaki, Ivanov stressed his country's pledge to complete Bushehr nuclear power plant project on the scheduled date, according to IRNA's earlier report.

Editor: Luan Shanglin
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