MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold his first meeting with recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on September 13, as part of a Eurasian summit in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, a Russian presidential aide said Friday.
“After Rouhani’s election as president, the Iranian government sent us a proposal to hold a Rouhani-Putin meeting within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek on September 13,” Yury Ushakov said.
“We were grateful to the Iranian side for such initiative and naturally supported it and gave our consent,” Putin’s aide added. “We are now preparing for the meeting.”
The meeting will be Putin’s second this year with Iran’s head of state, following his talks with outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early July.
Rouhani is a moderate cleric who won the presidential election in June and was inaugurated at a solemn ceremony in the country’s parliament last Sunday. Russian parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin attended the inauguration.
During that visit, Naryshkin said Moscow and Tehran might expand collaboration in civilian nuclear-power engineering after Iran’s first nuclear power plant comes into full operation.
Construction of the Bushehr plant began in the 1970s but has been plagued by delays. Russia signed a billion-dollar deal with Tehran to complete the plant in 1998.
The plant's launch in August 2010 prompted Israel and other nations to express fear that the reactor could be used to create an atomic bomb. Tehran has denied the allegations, saying the facility is used for peaceful power generation only.