Putin, Ahmadinejad discuss nuclear dispute

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Thursday that he wanted to discuss a European proposal for Iran to relinquish its nuclear fuel enrichment program. Speaking at the start of a meeting with Ahmadinejad, Putin said he wanted to go over the European proposal but stressed Russia's long-standing diplomatic support for Iran. "Russia has always been a reliable partner," Putin told Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad said he appreciated Russia's stance on the nuclear issue: "Our positions are clear and very close to one another." The meeting, which follows the closing of a regional summit in Shanghai, comes as divisions within the UN Security Council appear to be hardening, as Russia and China resist US and European efforts to pressure Iran into freezing its uranium enrichment program.