Vladimir Putin gifts Al Quran to Khamenei on his official visit to Tehran

TEHRAN: Russian President Vladimir Putin, on his first visit to Iran since 2007, presented an old edition of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, to Khamenei, the Iranian leader's website said, publishing photos of the book. Khamenei praised Putin for "neutralizing Washington's plots" and said economic relations between the two countries could "expand beyond the current level". Iran's supreme leader, at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran, said on Monday U.S. policies in the Middle East region were a threat to both countries and called for closer ties between Tehran and Moscow. The civil war in Syria has evolved into a wider proxy struggle between global powers, with Russia and Iran supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Western powers, Turkey and Gulf Arab states want him out. "The Americans have a long-term plot and are trying to dominate Syria and then the whole region ... This is a threat to all countries, especially Russia and Iran," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to his website, at the meeting on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit in Tehran. "The United States is now trying to achieve its failed military objectives in Syria by political means," he added, referring to proposed peace talks to end the civil war in Syria. The U.S. State Department pushed back against the remarks, saying its only intentions in Syria are to help find a peaceful solution to the conflict there. Reference: Reuters