Tehran Eyes Strategic Ties With Moscow

Raisi said his visit is in line with efforts to boost neighborly and regional diplomacy
Tehran Eyes Strategic Ties With Moscow
Tehran Eyes Strategic Ties With Moscow

President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran is willing to foster strategic ties with Moscow and sees no restrictions to expanding its relations with the Russian Federation. 
Speaking in a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on Wednesday, he said documents on strategic cooperation can outline the prospects of bilateral relations in a 20-year period.
“We seek to increase the volume of trade with Russia and will make great efforts toward this end,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA.  
Tehran and Moscow are about to complete their work on a 20-year agreement on comprehensive cooperation. 
Putin commended the fact that trade exchanges between Iran and Russia saw a 6% increase despite the difficult conditions arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Based on an interim agreement, relations between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union will increase, and we are actively trying to build a permanent platform between Iran and the EEU in the form of a free trade zone,” he added.  
He highlighted huge joint projects that are underway in various sectors between Iran and Russia, stressing that an extended agenda is ahead of the two states. 
Raisi later highlighted Tehran and Moscow’s experience of cooperation in fighting terrorism in Syria, saying this can be an appropriate basis for joint regional efforts. 
The Russian president said the two countries’ collective support helped counter terrorist threats in Syria. 
“At international level, we have close cooperation and with the efforts of both countries, we managed to help combat international terrorism in Syria,” he said. 
Raisi also pointed to efforts to revoke American sanctions on Tehran, hoping they will bear fruit. 
“Threats of sanctions will not prevent Iran from progressing,” he said. 
He referred to sanctions that the US reimposed after its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal which prompted Tehran to react by rolling back on its commitments.  
Negotiations are underway in the Austrian capital Vienna to revive the deal. 
Russia, along with other parties, are shuttling between the two countries to work out how they can resume compliance. 
The issue was among the topics of discussion between the two presidents. 
“Fortunately, we are in no hurry and can sit comfortably and talk about all unfinished subjects at length,” Putin said.  



Regional Diplomacy 

Raisi, who arrived in Moscow on Wednesday morning for a two-day stay, said prior to his departure that the trip is made at the invitation of the Russian president in line with efforts to “boost neighborly and regional diplomacy.” 
“We seek to foster and expand relations with all neighbors, especially Russia, in various political, economic and trade sectors and this trip can be a turning point in boosting and strengthening the level of ties with Russia,” he said. 
He described Iran and Russia as two important, powerful and influential countries in the region whose cooperation and dialogue can help improve the security of the region, as well as internal economic and trade relations. 
“Iran and Russia have common interests and these shared and interactive interests build security in the region and will prevent unilateralism in the world,” he said.
Raisi highlighted Iran’s recent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a move toward boosting Tehran-Moscow cooperation within regional political and economic assemblies.
“In the SCO, we will have good collaboration with all countries, especially Russia,” he said. 
Moscow also plays a central role in facilitating Iran’s relations with the Eurasian Economic Union, according to the president. 
Despite numerous capacities in all sectors, the current level of mutual trade is not satisfactory for either country, and needs to be upgraded to a higher level, the president added. 
Besides a meeting with the Russian president, Raisi is scheduled to deliver a speech at the meeting of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament on Thursday, reported. 
He will also meet Iranian expatriates in Russia and hold consultative meetings with Russian business people during the visit. 
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Oil Minister Javad Owji and Economy Minister Ehsan Khandouzi accompany the president in this trip, which is Raisi’s third official visit abroad since taking office in August. 



Turning Point 

In an interview with Nour News ahead of the trip on Tuesday, Air-Abdollahian said there is a strong desire on the part of the private and public sectors in Iran and Russia to cement their trade ties, despite the restrictions created by Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran. 
Along this line, he added, Iran and Russia are redoubling joint efforts to nullify American and European sanctions targeting the economies of the two countries.
Underlining the potential for bilateral cooperation at regional level in his interview, the foreign minister said Tehran and Moscow’s strategic view of foreign relations is also a foundation to build on.
“Syria has been a successful model of regional cooperation between the two countries in recent years,” he added.
He underscored the Raisi administration’s prioritized policy centered on neighbors and Asia, saying the president’s visit to Russia is “a turning point in the policy of good neighborliness and looking to the East.”

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