Ahmadinejad welcomes Russia nuclear proposal

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Tehran, Aug 17: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, Aug 16 welcomed Russia's latest proposals for restarting talks on the Islamic republic's controversial atomic programme that were broken off in January.

"Iran welcomes Russia's step-by-step proposal and is ready to make suggestions to cooperate," he said in a meeting with Russia's visiting National Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, quoted on the presidency website.

"In the step-by-step proposal, we will take your and that of the supreme leader's views into consideration since they are important and we consider them vital to reaching a positive solution," Patrushev was quoted as saying.

Iran's all-powerful supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on the country's major political decisions, especially on foreign policy and the nuclear issue.

After two sessions with Patrushev, Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili also said earlier today that Tehran welcomed Russia's proposal to renew talks.

He was referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's "step-by-step" plan unveiled in mid-July.

Under the proposal, Iran would address questions about its nuclear activities and the major powers would start reducing international economic sanctions against Tehran.

"Our Russian friends'' proposals can be the basis for commencing talks on regional and international cooperation, particularly in the field of peaceful nuclear activities," Jalili said, quoted on state television's website. 


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