Putin says West seeking 'regime change' in Iran
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of seeking "regime change" in Iran and warned Washington that Russia intended to keep its nuclear weapons to keep US power in check.
"Under the guise of trying to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction... they are attempting something else entirely and setting different goals -- regime change," news agencies quoted Putin as saying.
"We have such suspicions," said Putin. "And we are trying to take a stand that differs from the one they are trying to force on us... concerning the ways that the Iranian nuclear problem might develop."
Russia has longstanding commercial and military ties with Iran and has condemned unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Putin's tough talk came as he toured a nuclear research centre in the once-secret city of Sarov ahead of a March 4 presidential election in which he is widely expected to secure a return to the Kremlin.
Footage showed the former KGB spy inspect research stands and then chair a security meeting in which he lashed out at US plans to deploy a missile defence shield in Europe that Russia fears might make its nuclear forces ineffective.
Posted by: tipper