Putin shakes hands with Velayati, a senior adviser to Ali Khamenei, as Lavrov looks on at a meeting in Moscow.
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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday pressed European nations to get tough on Iran by cutting off all funding the country may use to foment instability in the Middle East and beyond. Pompeo was meeting with European officials in Brussels following a summit of NATO leaders to make the case for clamping down on Iranian "terrorism and proxy wars". He urged them to join a U.S.-led economic pressure campaign against Tehran that began in earnest after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark Iran nuclear deal in May. In Moscow, the top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, ahead of a U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki."Two other major Russian oil companies, Rosneft and Gazprom, have started talks with Iran's Oil Ministry to sign contracts worth up to $10 billion," Velayati added.His comments came as other U.S. officials have fanned out around the globe to warn foreign governments to stop buying oil from Iran or face sanctions and after he accused Iran of using its embassies to plot terrorist attacks in Europe.
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