Moscow - The Russian and Israeli foreign ministers have called for Iran to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, in a meeting in Moscow Tuesday.
The meeting between Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, and his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman, comes amid strained relations between the two states over the issue of Iran. Israel is concerned at Russia's close relationship with Tehran, amid Israeli fears of attack by the Islamic state.
"We have confirmed the need to assure the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme," Lavrov said, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
Lieberman, who is a fluent Russian speaker, expressed concerns about Russian arms supplies to Iran, and said that he had been assured such sales would only take place if it did not affect the "regional balance of power."
Israel regards Iran as its biggest existential threat, given Tehran's nuclear ambitions and repeated statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Jewish state should be erased off the map.
The Russian foreign minister also said that Israel's support of former Soviet Republic Georgia had been "difficult" for Moscow.
The two diplomats also discussed the Middle East peace process, with Lavrov indicating that there had been progress on a Russian plan for a regional peace conference.
Differences between the two countries on the peace process had recently arisen over Moscow's opposition to the isolation of the militant Palestinian movement Hamas.
Although Hamas was the clear winner in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Western countries imposed a diplomatic boycott on it because of its refusal to agree to renounce violence, honour past Israeli-Palestinian agreements and recognise Israel's right to exist.