Putin calls on Iran to stick to nuclear deal

Putin calls on Iran to stick to nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said almost two hours of meetings Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about "nearly every issue facing our two countries" were productive, though there appeared to be no major breakthroughs. "If Russia were to engage in that in 2020, it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it is".

SHAPIRO: When Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke to reporters, what did they have to say about Iran? "Our elections are important and sacred and they must be kept free and fair and with no outside country interfering".

Pompeo was set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence in Sochi later in the evening, for the countries' highest-level bilateral talks in almost a year.

Lavrov defended Russia's position and said the threats Maduro's government is receiving from USA administration officials coupled with Guaido's seeming support for a foreign military intervention, "bear no relation to democracy".

Putin told Pompeo his recent telephone conversation with Trump raised hopes for an improvement in relations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is willing to mend ties with the United States and build up cooperation.

"We fundamentally don't seek war with Iran", Pompeo said during the visit, according to the Associated Press.

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On Venezuela - the country where the Trump administration has backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó's bid to become president - Pompeo said, "We have disagreement". "We want to get some humanitarian aid".

The visit, as noted by the Financial Times, "comes amid speculation over the potential for new USA sanctions against Russian Federation, clashes between the two countries over the crisis in Venezuela and moves by the U.S.to isolate Iran, an ally of Moscow".

"I hope that reason will triumph", Lavrov said, adding that he hoped reports in the U.S. media that President Donald Trump is planning to send 120,000 troops to counter Iran turn out to be wrong.

Last week, the United States sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East in response to intelligence that Iran was planning attacks on American interests.

"Lately these channels were frozen", Lavrov said, citing what he called "baseless accusations against us" regarding Russia's attempts to influence American elections and "certain collusion of high-ranking officials". -Russian efforts to bring a United Nations -brokered end to the war that began in 2011 fell apart in 2016.

But, like Pompeo, Khamenei stopped short of saying Iran is now seeking a resolution to the tensions.

Trump himself rejected the New York Times report, saying it was "fake news" but did not rule out deploying "a hell of a lot more" soldiers in the future.

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