Vladimir Putin in talks over Iran stand-off


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The Independent Online

The West's stand-off with Iran over its nuclear programme will be the hot topic when Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Israeli leaders during a 24-hour visit.

Israel wants Russia to pressure Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme, which Israeli and world leaders believe is designed to produce bombs, not energy as Iran claims.

Russia has worked with China to water down international sanctions against Iran.

Israel has warned that if the sanctions do not force Tehran to curb its nuclear ambitions, then a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities might follow.

Putin is expected to arrive this morning and meet with Israel's Russian-speaking foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tomorrow, he will head to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.