Reuters: Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Iran on
Friday to heed the demands of the U.N. nuclear watchdog after Tehran defied the United Nations by going ahead with its uranium enrichment programme.
Russia is helping the Islamic republic build a nuclear reactor
at the port of Bushehr despite strong criticism from the United States which says Tehran is seeking atomic weapons. Reuters

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Iran on Friday to heed the demands of the U.N. nuclear watchdog after Tehran defied the United Nations by going ahead with its uranium enrichment programme.

Russia is helping the Islamic republic build a nuclear reactor at the port of Bushehr despite strong criticism from the United States which says Tehran is seeking atomic weapons.

"We are categorically opposed to expanding the nuclear club. Iran should meet all (International Atomic Energy Agency) demands," Putin told a media industry conference.

Putin, who has said Russia would ditch the Bushehr project should Iran breach any IAEA agreements, said he had been told by Iranian leaders they were not interested in getting atomic arms.

"We welcome such an approach, but it should be backed up. The international community must feel confident (that Iran is not acquiring nuclear weapons)," Putin said.

Russia has continuously delayed the launch of the Bushehr plant. Diplomats in Moscow say Putin's growing recognition of U.S. concerns over Iran has pressed the Kremlin into delays until such time as the IAEA gives a clean bill of health to Iran's nuclear programme.

Last week the IAEA adopted a resolution calling on Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment work. But Tehran rejected the call and said it had begun converting a large amount of raw uranium to prepare it for enrichment -- a process that can be used to develop atomic bombs.

Iran says, however, that its nuclear programme is solely for generating electricity.