Russia Role Essential in Regional Stability

Russia Role Essential in Regional Stability
Russia Role Essential in Regional Stability

Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani says greater Iran-Russia cooperation is required to secure sustainable stability in the region.

He made the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Chairman of Russia's State Duma Sergey Naryshkin on late Monday, IRNA reported.   

Rafsanjani described bilateral cooperation between the two states on regional and international issues as inevitable, adding, "Terrorist groups have undermined regional security; and Iran and Russia should enhance collaboration to help secure sustainable stability in the region."

He called the visit of the Russian parliamentary delegation to Iran a good start in the new chapter of Tehran-Moscow relations, adding, "We were keen to strengthen our ties with the east bloc countries as of the (1979 Islamic) Revolution."

The head of the Expediency Council referred to his trip as parliament speaker to the former Soviet Union and said, "We reached agreements with the then officials, which have still remained significant and practical."

Touching on the recent meeting of President Hassan Rouhani with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, he said, "There is a great potential for bilateral cooperation; and expansion of relations between Iran and Russia as two neighboring states are beneficial for today and the future of the two states."

The senior cleric called the Caspian Sea a significant ground for Iran-Russia cooperation, adding, "The Caspian Sea should become an exemplary region for peace in the world, which is possible just through cooperation of all the littoral states."  

He also described enhancement of bilateral cooperation, particularly on oil and gas, as important to both countries and said if Iran and Russia strengthen their cooperation, it will lead to more solidarity and convergence between other Caspian Sea littoral states.

Rafsanjani expressed dissatisfaction with the current level of bilateral business relations and called on officials of the both countries to take measures to remove obstacles and facilitate promotion of ties.      

"Economy, industry, business and energy are appropriate areas for mutual cooperation," he added.

Sergey Naryshkin, for his part, recalled the memories of Rafsanjani's trip to the former Soviet Union and the key contracts signed at the time, adding, "The people in Russia recognize you (Rafsanjani) as the founder of relations between the two countries."

He criticized the stance taken by some states on regional issues and said, "Most of their policies are in conflict with the interests of the regional states."

Expressing discontent over the sanctions imposed against countries, he said, "(The imposition of sanctions) represents a violation of international law and is (an example of) intervention in the internal affairs of other states."