Iran should not wait until August before agreeing to negotiate a six-country plan for resolving the Islamic republic's nuclear standoff with the international community, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"The Iranian leadership said it is ready for dialogue and will answer by August," Putin said while answering questions sent in by Internet from around the world.
He said he would have liked an answer to come before the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg on July 15-17.
However, Putin reiterated his opposition to imposing sanctions against Iran if it refuses to accept the plan, which includes a suspension of Iranian work on uranium enrichment.
"I agree that waiting endlessly is counterproductive, but even more counterproductive is to push the problem into a dead end which we will not know how to exit from," he said.
Putin also repeated Moscow's position that Iran "has the right to use of modern technology," although "development of nuclear technology must take place under control of international organisations and must not present any threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.