updated 4/28/2008 3:21:42 PM ET 2008-04-28T19:21:42

Iran and Russia on Monday discussed the outlines of "serious proposals" aimed at assuring the international community that Tehran's nuclear program is peaceful, state media reported.

Top Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili did not provide details of the proposals but said Tehran will soon unveil them publicly.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has serious proposals that while reducing threats in the nuclear issue to the minimum, (also) prevent proliferation," Jalili was quoted as saying by Iran's official news agency IRNA.

Russia has been a key ally to Iran in its nuclear standoff with the West but also has voted in favor of three rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran for its failure to halt uranium enrichment.

Iran has denied pursuing nuclear weapons, saying its program is geared toward generating electricity.

Jalili said he discussed the "outlines" of the package Monday with acting Russian Security Council Secretary Valentin Sobolev during his visit to Iran, according to IRNA.

Sobolev said he hoped the talks would help "advance Iranian-Russian relations," according to Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

"Our talks are of a peaceful nature and are not directed against any third countries," Sobolev was quoted as saying.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said earlier this month that Iran has been preparing a proposal that will have more "convergence" with the West on the nuclear issue.

Jalili indicated Monday that the new package of proposals could form a good basis for negotiations with the West, saying it "has good capabilities that can be the subject of talks with big powers."

The U.S. has refused to negotiate directly with Iran on the nuclear issue until it agrees to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or fissile material for a bomb. Iran has insisted that its right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is "nonnegotiable."

"We have prepared a proposal that will be handed over soon and ... we think we can hold dialogue with influential powers on the international stage that really have the will to establish peace and stability in the world and respect the sovereignty of nations," IRNA quoted Jalili as saying.

Also Monday, the deputy chief of the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency arrived in Tehran to discuss Iran's controversial nuclear program.

His second visit in two weeks comes only days after the International Atomic Energy Agency said it has reached a "milestone" agreement with Iran that aims to provide answers to allegations that Tehran has tried to develop nuclear weapons.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Sunday that Iran was willing to discuss any issue with the U.N. nuclear watchdog but maintained the country has already answered all outstanding questions about its nuclear program.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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