Russian President Vladimir Putin has renewed his support for Iran's pursuit of nuclear energy and has warned that Moscow will not accept military action against Tehran.
Both Mr. Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged the leaders of a Caspian Sea summit in Tehran on Tuesday to prohibit outside interference into the affairs of the region. Mr. Putin's comments are in an apparent response to speculation the United States could resort to force in its nuclear dispute with Tehran.
The Russian leader, along with the presidents of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a declaration agreeing never to allow their territories to be used for an attack on a fellow regional state. The declaration also backed Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful means as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Mr. Putin met with President Ahmadinejad following the summit. The Russian leader told reporters that Moscow will not back out of a commitment to help Iran finish a nuclear power plant, though he did not give a timeframe for completion.