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Iranian, Russian Presidents to Discuss Atomic Standoff: Reports

Iran's incoming president appears set to meet in Tehran next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a discussion on potentially resuming negotiations over an intensifying global nuclear standoff, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

President-elect Hassan Rouhani would meet with Putin on Aug. 12, just 10 days after he is scheduled to take office, an insider with Iranian Foreign Ministry ties said in comments quoted by the Russian newspaper Kommersant. An Iranian press report, though, said the meeting would take place on Aug. 16.

Iran and six key powers have failed in a succession of talks to resolve international fears that certain Iranian atomic efforts are geared toward weapon development. Delegates from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany last met with Iranian counterparts three months ago in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Putin might also raise the prospect of sending Iran a more advanced version of Russia's S-300 air-defense system. U.N. sanctions prompted Moscow to cancel an earlier S-300 delivery, which experts had suggested might guard Iranian atomic assets against potential airstrikes.

The leaders could also discuss a possible expansion of Iran's Bushehr atomic energy facility, ITAR-Tass reported on Wednesday.

Separately, the Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed certain press claims about what delegates Rouhani would send to any future talks, Iran's Fars News Agency reported. The state-run news service did not specify which reports it was addressing.

"The negotiators will also be introduced after the cabinet members" are named by Rouhani and confirmed by lawmakers, spokesman Abbas Araqchi said.

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