Russia takes urgent steps to ensure its citizen's safety in Iran

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Moscow, May 15 (UNI) Russia is taking urgent necessary measures to ensure the safety of its facilities and citizens in Iran after reports of a planned terrorist attack on the Russian consulate in Rasht.

''The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Tehran, in cooperation with the Iranian authorities, are taking additional security measures to ensure the safety of Russian citizens and facilities in Iran,'' the Ministry said in a statement today.

Iran yesterday said it had arrested a terrorist group that planned to blow up the Russian consulate building in the town of Rasht near the Caspian Sea.

''This terrorist network, with links to the US, planned an explosion at the Russian consulate in Rasht, aiming to create a rift between Iran and its neighbours,'' the Iranian Intelligence and Security Minister Qolam Hosein Mohseni-Ejei was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

Russia's charge d'affaires in Iran, Alexei Dedov, told RIA Novosti that according to local authorities at least 20 people linked to the foiled attack had been arrested.

Moscow and Tehran enjoy warm relations amid the pressure from the West on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme. Russia is a key economic partner of Iran, and is building the country's first nuclear power plant in Bushehr.

On the eve of stepping down from Russian presidency on May 7, Vladimir Putin signed a decree implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1803 imposing new sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.


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