Iran ready for direct talks on nuclear problem Putin

Iran Materials 16 June 2006 11:29

(RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Iran was ready to hold direct talks on its long-running nuclear problem and would soon propose a timeframe.

Iran's nuclear programs have been a source of major controversy since the beginning of the year, as many countries suspect the Islamic Republic of pursuing a covert weapons program under the pretext of civilian research, despite its claims to the contrary, reports Trend.

"I would like to point out three important aspects," Putin said after a meeting Thursday with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "First, the Iranian side's reaction to the six countries' proposals on resolving the crisis was positive. Second, our Iranian partners are ready to begin talks. Third, in the near future the Iranian side will express its position on the timeframe of the start of these talks."

During the bilateral meeting earlier Thursday, Putin urged Ahmadinejad to clarify his position on a package of incentives that six countries negotiating on Iran's nuclear program - China, Russia, U.S., Britain, Germany and France - had agreed upon as a way to persuade the Islamic Republic to abandon nuclear research.

EU foreign policy supremo Javier Solana had passed the proposals to Tehran during a visit June 6.