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. Iran's Ahmadinejad, Russia's Medvedev talk on nuclear issue
TEHRAN, July 19 (AFP) Jul 19, 2008
The presidents of Iran and Russia have expressed hope for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis on the eve of key talks aiming to break the deadlock, media reported on Saturday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev held their first telephone talks late on Friday, a day before the talks Saturday in Geneva, Iranian state media and the Kremlin said.

"In the Geneva negotiations... we can examine ways to make decisions in different fields and help resolve the existing issues," the website of Iranian state television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

He also expressed satisfaction over the current state of ties between Tehran and Moscow, which has substantial economic interests in the Islamic republic, state television said.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, quoted Medvedev as urging Iran "to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to clarify questions remaining about the Iranian nuclear programme."

"The Russian president reiterated his firm position on resolving the situation surrounding Iran's nuclear programme only by political and diplomatic means," it added.

Medvedev told Ahmadinejad he hoped for a "substantive and constructive dialogue" in Geneva on Saturday, it said.

Russia is one of the six world powers that last month gave Iran a proposal offering it full negotiations on a range of incentives if it suspends sensitive uranium enrichment operations.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will hold talks on the package with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva on Saturday, in a meeting that for the first time will also be attended by a US envoy.

The West fears that Iran could use uranium enrichment to make nuclear weapons but Tehran insists that it wants only to produce atomic energy.

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