Vladimir Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says the West is aiming for regime change in Iran by focusing on its nuclear program.

Sky news reports that on Friday, February 24, Putin told reporters: “Under the pretext of stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by neutralizing a new nuclear club member – Iran – attempts are underway to change the regime.”

The United States and Europe have begun a wave of sanctions against Iran, saying the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is not wholly transparent and may have a military aim.

Iran denies the allegations and insists that its nuclear program is peaceful.

A European oil embargo against Iran will go into full effect on July 1, 2012, a prospect that has already driven up oil prices by more than 10 percent.

Despite two visits to Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency, there has been no breakthrough in the impasse in nuclear negotiations.

Previously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had also interpreted the West’s sanctions against Iran as a way to affect regime change in that country.

Putin said on Friday that Moscow’s solution to Iran’s nuclear question differs from what’s being done by other countries.

In recent weeks, there has been news about the resumption of nuclear talks between Iran and the G5+1 in Istanbul.