Russia says Ahmadinejad comments 'unacceptable'

26th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russia on Monday angrily slammed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's criticism of Moscow in the nuclear crisis as unacceptable and irresponsible, as tensions spiral with its traditional ally.

Ahmadinejad last week dubbed his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev the "mouthpiece" of Iran's enemies, in his strongest attack yet on Moscow after momths of rising tensions between the Kremlin and the Islamic republic.

"For us the recent public statements of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are categorically unacceptable," a Russian foreign ministry statement said.

"We consider that instead of fruitless and irresponsible rhetoric, the Iranian leadership should take concrete, constructive steps towards the speediest regulation of the situation."

Russia, traditionally a diplomatic and economic ally of Iran, in the past took a milder line against Tehran than Western powers but recently has noticeably hardened its position, sparking anger in Tehran.

Medvedev declared earlier this month that Iran was close to having the potential to build a nuclear weapon, the first time a Russian leader had warned so explicitly of the dangers of the Iranian nuclear programme.

© 2010 AFP

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