Russia on Tuesday described the hotly disputed reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an "internal affair."
"The issue of the elections in Iran is an internal affair of the Iranian people," Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.
He spoke shortly after the Iranian president arrived there for the second day of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
It was Ahmadinejad's first foreign trip since his widely contested reelection.
"We welcome the fact that the elections have taken place," Ryabkov said.
He added it was very "symbolic" that Ahmadinejad had chosen Russia for his first foreign destination, saying it reflected special ties between Moscow and Tehran.