Moscow: Russia on Monday angrily slammed
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s criticism of Moscow in
the nuclear crisis as unacceptable and irresponsible, as
tensions spiral with its traditional ally.
Ahmadinejad last week dubbed his Russian counterpart
Dmitry Medvedev the "mouthpiece" of Iran`s enemies, in his
strongest attack yet on Moscow after months of rising tensions
between the Kremlin and the Islamic republic.
"For us the recent public statements of the Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are categorically unacceptable,"
a Russian foreign ministry statement said.
"We consider that instead of fruitless and
irresponsible rhetoric, the Iranian leadership should take
concrete, constructive steps towards the speediest regulation
of the situation."
Russia, traditionally a diplomatic and economic ally
of Iran, in the past took a milder line against Tehran than
Western powers but recently has noticeably hardened its
position, sparking anger in Tehran.
Medvedev declared earlier this month that Iran was
close to having the potential to build a nuclear weapon, the
first time a Russian leader had warned so explicitly of the
dangers of the Iranian nuclear programme.