Russia has rejected European-proposed UN sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to halt its suspected nuclear weapons drive, but Moscow appears to be applying its own pressure by threatening to delay a key nuclear power project.
Analysts say the Kremlin is determined not to push Iran into a corner like North Korea - blaming tough US policies for Pyongyang's recent nuclear test - but Teheran's refusal to compromise has led to growing impatience in Moscow despite the two countries' close commercial ties.
"President Putin is angry at (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad but he understands that it's probably too late to do anything now," said Georgy Mirsky, chief researcher at the Institute for World Economics and International Relations in Moscow.
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