Iran's top nuke negotiator may meet Putin Saturday

Iran's top nuclear negotiator was to continue talks in Moscow on Saturday, and Russian news agencies reported that he might meet with President Vladimir Putin. On Friday, Ali Larijani insisted Tehran would push ahead with its controversial nuclear program, and suggested it could break off ties with the UN nuclear watchdog if the world inflicts punishments proposed by European nations. In a familiar mix of threats and offers, Ali Larijani said Iran wanted negotiations to ease the mounting standoff over fears it is seeking nuclear weapons, but that it would not abandon what he insisted was a peaceful nuclear energy program. He was to meet again Saturday with Igor Ivanov, the head of Russia's Security Council. The ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies reported that Putin might also receive him.