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Presidents Ahmadinejad (left) and Putin in Shanghai on June 15 (epa) June 15, 2006 -- Speaking in Shanghai, where he met Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology.

Putin said any country, including Iran, has a right to use high technology, but it needs to do it in a way that "does not arouse concerns of the international community on the [nuclear] nonproliferation issue."

"Russia has been a gradual and reliable partner of Iran," Putin added. "I am sure you have no doubts about that."

He also asked Ahmadinejad's opinion of the new proposal by Great Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad said the Russian and Iranian positions were close and that they support each other.

The Iranian president is attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's annual summit as an observer. Russia, along with China and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are the group's full members.

(ITAR-TASS, AFP)
Avoiding International Isolation
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on May 27 (epa)

DIPLOMATIC OFFENSIVE: As the United States and the European Union increase pressure on Iran regarding its nuclear program, Tehran has launched a wide-ranging and ambitious diplomatic offensive, including high-level state visits with countries including China, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. In May, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad participated in a high-profile summit of the so-called Developing 8 (D8) group of countries in Bali. Below are some links to RFE/RL's coverage of Iran's efforts to boost international support for its position.

Tehran's Shanghai Plans Seen As Bold Geopolitical Stroke

Nonaligned Movement Expresses Support For Iran

Afghan, Iranian Presidents Tout Strong Historical Ties

Iranian Foreign Minister In Pakistan For Energy Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Visits Baghdad


ARCHIVE

To view all of RFE/RL's coverage of Iran, click here.


THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


CHRONOLOGY

An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.

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