Medvedev 'mouthpiece' of Iran enemies: Ahmadinejad
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dubbed his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev the "mouthpiece" of Iran's enemies, in the latest tirade born of rising differences between Tehran and Moscow.
"In a meeting with his ambassadors, he (Medvedev) said we have knowledge that Iran is moving towards the bomb," Ahmadinejad was shown saying in footage broadcast by state television on Saturday.
"We regret that Medvedev has become the mouthpiece for the plans of Iran's enemies," the hardline president said in the footage filmed at a gathering in Tehran on Friday.
On July 12, Medvedev made his toughest remarks to date about the Iranian nuclear programme, which Tehran has always insisted is entirely peaceful in aim.
"Iran is nearing the possession of the potential which, in principle, could be used for the creation of a nuclear weapon," he told Russian diplomats.
Three days later, Medvedev warned Iranian leaders that they did not "live in space" and accused them of exploiting the nuclear standoff with the international community for political ends.
"Iran is an active trade partner of ours. But this does not mean that we are indifferent to how Iran is developing its nuclear programme," Medvedev said at a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Ties between Tehran and Moscow deteriorated sharply when Russia backed a fourth set of UN sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme adopted by the Security Council on June 9.
"Russia is a great nation and we are friends and are interested in expanding our friendly relationship, but you should know that the remarks (of Medvedev) are a trailer for the propagandist scenario that the US will stage," Ahmadinejad said.
"This scenario has been kick-started by the Russian president."
A traditional ally of Iran, Russia had previously taken a much softer line on the nuclear issue than Western governments and had spoken out in favour of more diplomacy.
But in recent months it has toughened its stance, backing Western calls for more sanctions.
© 2010 AFP