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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Olmert Quizzes Putin Over Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert brought his country's concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions on Thursday to President Vladimir Putin, whose high-profile visit to Tehran this week underlined Russia's close ties with Israel's foe.

"I would be glad to hear from you about the results of your trip to Iran and talk about other concerns," Olmert said as he sat down for talks in the Kremlin late Thursday after arriving for a visit expected to last just a few hours.

"We know how concerned you are about the situation surrounding the Iranian [nuclear program]," Putin said. "I am ready to share the results of my visit."

Journalists were shooed out after the brief remarks.

The Israeli leader's visit was announced only after Putin returned from Iran, where he promised on Tuesday to support the country's pursuit of nuclear energy and warned "outside forces" -- hinting at the United States -- against attacking Iran.

Israel also is concerned about reported new Russian arms deals with Syria. Olmert and Putin suggested they would also discuss Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts.

Olmert "will be very clear on the Israeli position that in no way can Iran achieve nuclear capability, that Iranian nuclear capability threatens the world, including Russia," Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said Thursday.

While the substance of their talks Tuesday was murky, Putin's meetings with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were likely seen by both Iran and Israel as a show of support for a president who has called for Israel's demise.

They also left the world wondering what kind of message Putin conveyed in private and how the Iranians responded.

U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he wanted a report directly from Putin about his visit to Iran -- and to know whether Putin "continues to harbor the same concerns" as Bush about Iran's nuclear program. Bush suggested that a nuclear-armed Iran could trigger World War III.