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Israeli PM Meets with Russia's Putin on Iran Nuclear Standoff


Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin that focused on the stand-off over Iran's nuclear program.

Mr. Olmert said after the meeting he feels confident that Mr. Putin understands Israel's concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Russia has been reluctant to go along with proposed sanctions against Tehran.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani warned Wednesday that if the U.N. Security Council approves sanctions, the situation would be "radicalized." He implied that Iran would reject further negotiations over the nuclear program, and warned that Iran could suspend cooperation with the U.N.nuclear watchdog (the IAEA) if sanctions are imposed.

On Tuesday, the European Union endorsed limited sanctions against the Tehran government.

Iran has ignored an August 31 U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana met several times with Larijani but Tehran did not agree to suspend enrichment.

The U.S. and other world powers believe Tehran is seeking to build atomic weapons, a charge Iran denies.

Media reports also say Mr. Olmert spoke with his Russian counterpart about the danger of Russian weapons sales to Tehran. Israel maintains that Russian weapons sold to Iran were used by the Lebanese Shi'ite militia Hezbollah during the month-long war with Israel earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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