Moscow Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to support new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities and urged Russia not to sell arms to Iran or Syria.
Olmert's brief, abruptly announced visit came days after Putin traveled to Iran and met with its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has publicly called for Israel's demise. During the trip, Putin vowed to support Iran's pursuit of nuclear energy and warned "outside forces" - an apparent reference to the U.S. - against attacking Tehran.
In a three-hour meeting with Putin, Olmert "expressed his opinion that effective sanctions by all the international community would have the potential to stop Iran pursuing the nuclear path," said Miri Eisin, the Israeli prime minister's spokeswoman.
Russia has resisted further U.N. sanctions against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment and other activities that Israel and the U.S. say are aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear program is for energy production alone.