Russia's Putin to meet new Iranian president in September

MOSCOW Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:24am EDT

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani gestures to the media during a news conference in Tehran June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Fars News/Majid Hagdost

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani gestures to the media during a news conference in Tehran June 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fars News/Majid Hagdost

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian leader Vladimir Putin will meet Iran's newly elected president for the first time in Kyrgyzstan in September, the Islamic Republic's ambassador to Moscow said on Wednesday.

Russian and Iranian media reported last week that the Russian president would go to Iran in August for talks with Hassan Rouhani on Tehran's nuclear program.

But Ambassador Seyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi told a news conference that these reports were false, and that Putin's first talks with Rouhani would be on the sidelines of a summit of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, on September 13.

World powers hope Iran's relatively moderate new leader will comply with demands for Tehran to scale back nuclear work which they suspect is aimed at enabling it to make bombs.

Iran says it is enriching uranium, the fissile material for atomic bombs, only to fuel nuclear power stations and for medical purposes.

The last high-level talks between Iran and world powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - were in Kazakhstan in April. They failed to break the deadlock.

Western diplomats say the world powers will have to wait for a new government to be formed in Iran before they can discuss a date for a new round of talks.

"Clearly, let the new Iranian government settle in well. There will be a new government formed. But we are ready for talks anyway," Sajjadi said.

Sajjadi denied reports that Tehran and Moscow had been discussing the possibility of Russia providing Iran with Antey-2500 anti-ballistic missiles, to replace deliveries of S-300 missiles that were frozen by Moscow after international sanctions were placed on Iran.

But he said any proposal for such a deal by Moscow could become part of negotiations on how to settle the S-300 issue.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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