Saudi offers Russia arms deal to curb Iran ties

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has offered to award Russia lucrative arms contracts if the Kremlin curtails cooperation with Iran, a Russian newspaper said on Tuesday, but Moscow denied the offer was tied to relations with Tehran.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow for talks on Monday that included the signing of a landmark deal on military cooperation.

A Russian government spokesman denied the deal was linked to Iran and said any attempt to tie cooperation with Riyadh to other issues was “not right and not proper”.

Kommersant, a respected Russian daily, said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal suggested Russia curtail cooperation with Iran at a Moscow meeting this February. The proposal was made in the name of King Abdullah, the paper said.

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