(www.rian.ru) вЂ" A special envoy of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday he has brought the Russian president a message from the Iranian leadership.
"You see the response of the Iranian side, the message and return visit of our delegation," Ali Akbar Velayati, a former Iranian foreign minister, told Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov, who visited Tehran January 27-28.
During his visit, Ivanov handed Vladimir Putin's messages to Ali Khameini and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He also met with National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, reports Trend.
"The main thrust of the messages is Russia's firm intention to develop good-neighborly relations with its old partner, Iran," Ivanov said during the visit.
The sides discussed bilateral issues, including the construction of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran, and the international situation surrounding Iran's nuclear problem.
Russia is building Iran's first nuclear power plant under a $1 billion contract signed in 1995. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of 2007, after the original date at the end of 2006 was put off.
The Bushehr facility has been a source of international dispute, with the United States and other Western countries raising concerns that Iran may use the project as part of a covert weapons program. Iran has consistently denied that its nuclear program has military goals.
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in December imposing sanctions against Iran.
Russia, a key economic partner of Iran, has consistently supported the country's right to nuclear power under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and resisted harsh sanctions.