Ahmadinejad Congratulates Putin on ‘Decisive’ Election Victory

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated Vladimir Putin on his “decisive” victory in Russia’s presidential election, the Persian Gulf state’s embassy in Moscow said.

Ahmadinejad said in a letter that he hoped Putin’s election to a new six-year term would promote bilateral ties and help end “discrimination and unilateral approaches” to international affairs, the embassy said by e-mail today.

Putin, 59, obtained about 64 percent of the vote in the March 4 election, which international observers said was marred by abuses and didn’t meet “important democratic standards.” Police detained about 250 people who took part in a protest rally in Moscow last night, including several opposition leaders.

The Russian leader warned the U.S. and its allies against a military strike on Iran last week, signaling that the consequences would be “catastrophic.” Russia is pressing for a resumption of international talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear program and for an easing of sanctions against the country in return for its cooperation with United Nations atomic inspectors.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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