Putin: We support 'peaceful' Iranian nuke program

At regional summit in China, Russian president tells Iranian counterpart Ahmadinejad he supports drive for atomic energy.

Russia's Putin with Iran's Ahmadinejad 370 (photo credit: 	 REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Russia's Putin with Iran's Ahmadinejad 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)
Russia supports a peaceful Iranian nuclear program, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Thursday.
"We have always supported the right of the Iranian people to modern technologies, including the peaceful use of atomic energy," AFP quoted Putin as saying on the sidelines of a regional summit in China.
"But I want to emphasize that it is peaceful that we are talking about. You know our position," he added.
Western countries have been avoiding any explicit recognition of an Iranian right to nuclear power, saying Tehran had no automatic right to enrich uranium because of its previous violations of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran maintains that under its membership of the NPT, it can develop a full nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful purposes including the preparation and enrichment of uranium.

Earlier this week, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader urged world powers to formally recognize its nuclear rights to bring about a "favorable result" at talks on its atomic program later this month. "I hope the P5+1 group recognizes Iran's inalienable nuclear right within the framework of the NPT and refrains from sitting on the sidelines," IRNA quoted Ali Akbar Velayati as saying.
"By accepting Iran's right to use peaceful nuclear energy, the forthcoming talks in Moscow should reach a favorable result."
Reuters contributed to this report.