The Russian president has warned the United States and other Western nations against taking military action over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme. Vladimir Putin says any use of force in the Caspian Sea area will be unacceptable. His comments were backed by other heads of state meeting for a regional summit in Tehran. They also appeared to be directed at Azerbaijan, amid Russian media speculation that the US might be trying to negotiate with the republic on the right to use military facilities there, something Azeri officials deny.
Putin went on to say that all signatories would respect the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty to develop peaceful atomic energy without any limitations. The summit members, which include Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan as well as Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, also agreed to not let a third country use their soil for an attack on any of them.
The presence of Putin, the first Kremlin leader to visit Iran since 1943, is being closely watched because of Moscow’s potential leverage, on behalf of fellow world powers, to rein in Iran using its trade and nuclear supply ties. Putin turned up in Tehran after shrugging off a Russian report about a plot to kill him during the trip.