Report: Top Russian official due in Iran

Delegation expected to offer Teheran incentives to desist enrichment.

IranRussiaChina 298 (photo credit: AP)
IranRussiaChina 298
(photo credit: AP)
A top Russian diplomat is to visit Teheran on Saturday to discuss incentives to be offered to Iran as a reward if it suspends uranium enrichment, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak will accompany a delegation led by the chief of Russia's Security Council, Igor Ivanov, ITAR-Tass quoted a Russian diplomat as saying. They will holds talks with officials including Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
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"The Teheran meeting will focus on the proposals for incentives which Iran will enjoy if it stops uranium enrichment." said the diplomat. The Russian Foreign Ministry could not be contacted for confirmation. Meanwhile, on Friday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov reiterated Moscow's commitment to supply Iran with sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, local news agencies reported. "If there are no extraordinary circumstances, it (the contract) will without doubt be fulfilled," Ivanov was quoted as saying. Defense Ministry officials have previously said Moscow will supply 29 sophisticated Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran under a $700 million (565 million Euros) contract, according to Russian media reports. The move was likely to upset the United States which last month called on all countries to stop all arms exports to Iran and to end all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States and some of its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop weapons. Ivanov sought to dispel possible criticism of Russia's moves, stressing that Moscow was following international weapons regulations. "As far as Russia's position is concerned, we strictly abide by all nonproliferation regimes, and when we hear reproaches that Russia is secretly helping Iran - it is just propaganda," the Interfax news agency quoted Ivanov as saying. He did not specify what the reproaches were.