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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. National Security Adviser Has Iran on His Mind

APStephen Hadley
U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley visited Moscow on Monday as Washington pushes diplomatic efforts to confront Iran over its suspect nuclear program. Iran's foreign minister held separate talks in the city.

Hadley met with President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other senior officials at the start of his two-day visit.

The United States has been trying to rally support for bringing Iran before the UN Security Council for possible economic penalties if it does not provide answers about its nuclear program, which Washington says is a covert drive to build nuclear weapons.

"We are conducting a wide discussion with Russia on this topic," Hadley said before meeting Lavrov, Itar-Tass reported. "Our positions are similar, and we are agreed on the basic points."

However, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice failed earlier this month to break through Moscow's opposition to hauling Iran before the Security Council. She did say, though, that Moscow was trying to push Iran back to the bargaining table.

Lavrov and Hadley alluded to the recent series of intense consultations between Russia and the United States.

"We had an opportunity to discuss a number of topical international issues with U.S. Secretary of State Rice in Moscow, including the situation around Iran, Syria and Lebanon. We exchanged views on the situation in Central Asia on the results of Ms. Rice's trip to that region and ahead of my own trip to the same area," Lavrov said.

Hadley responded: "I think the consultation you described over the last two months shows the vitality and the intensity" of the consultations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with Lavrov on Monday afternoon and decided that Tehran would resume contacts with European countries over the disputed nuclear program -- though they did not say what form those contacts would take.

Russia has urged Iran to resume talks with the European Union over its nuclear program.

Hadley also said that the United States and Russia had similar views on the necessity of pressing North Korea over its nuclear program.