JERUSALEM -- Israel urged the visiting Russian president yesterday to step up pressure on Iran to curb its suspect nuclear program, but there was no sign of any concessions from Vladimir Putin.

With Russia an influential voice in the international debate over Iran, the outcome of the 24-hour visit could have deep implications for whether Israel decides to strike Tehran's nuclear facilities or give the international community more time to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

Israel and Russia enjoy deep economic and cultural relations bolstered by the more than 1 million immigrants from the former Soviet Union who now live in the Jewish state. But they have deeply differing approaches to Iran and the uprising in Tehran's close ally Syria.

Russia has blocked drastic action against the two countries, while Israel has repeatedly hinted it may act militarily to stop Iran's nuclear program.

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Putin said their talks covered Iran and Syria, but added he saw negotiations as the only solution. Netanyahu said: "We agree that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran pose a grave danger, first for Israel but also for the region and the whole world. Two things need to be done now: We need to bolster the sanctions and bolster the demands."

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