Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Thursday called on Russia to use its close ties with Iran to persuade the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear program.

In a press conference in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Rivlin asserted that "The friendship between Russia and Iran gives the Russians the opportunity and responsibility to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons." He added that Russia is the only nation can stop the Iranian nuclear program without sanctions or military means.

In response, Lavrov rejected Rivlin's concerns, saying that "so far there is no clear evidence that Iran has moved to develop nuclear weapons." Lavrov added that his statement should not be viewed as a rubber stamp of Iran's policies, but rather is aimed at ensuring that Israelis are aware of the risks relating to the Iranian issue.

He concluded by saying that "Russia believes that Iran does not intend to attack Israel with nuclear weapons, especially in light of Israel's demographic composition, which includes millions of Arabs and Muslims."

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