'Assassination Plot' Won't Stop Putin's Iran Visit

Russian Prez shrugs off reports of conspiracy to kill or capture him
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2007 5:27 AM CDT
Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as he arrives at Rhein-Main airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007. Putin arrived to attend the Petersburg Dialogue. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Iran this week, despite news reports of an assassination plot against him there. Russian security services received warnings that suicide bombers and kidnappers were training to kill or capture the president, according to the Russian news service Interfax. Putin dismissively waved off reporters seeking to question him about the reports yesterday as he headed into meetings in Germany.

An Iranian spokesman called the assassination news report “psychological warfare” to undermine Russian-Iranian relations, despite the fact that Russian officials later confirmed the information. The West is watching Putin’s visit closely, hoping he’ll defuse nuclear tensions with Iran. Russia is helping Iran build a nuclear reactor, and Putin has called for Western leaders to engage Iran instead of isolating it.