Syria Experience Bodes Well for Tehran-Moscow Ties

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei receives Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Nov. 1. Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei receives Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Nov. 1.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the effective anti-terror cooperation between Iran and Russia in Syria, which has led to the defeat of militants fighting the government there, demonstrates that Tehran-Moscow alliance is capable of achieving common goals.

"The failure of the US-led supporters of terrorists in Syria is undeniable," Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Wednesday, reported.

"The outcome of this cooperation has showed that Tehran and Moscow can achieve common goals on challenging fronts," he added.

Late on Wednesday, Tehran hosted a summit attended by Iranian, Russian and Azerbaijan's presidents, which focused on boosting trade between the three sides, particularly the International North-South Transport Corridor project.

Earlier in the day, Putin sat down for talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

In the meeting, Rouhani praised Russia's role in protecting the 2015 nuclear deal, which faces the fierce opposition of US President Donald Trump.

Rouhani also said Tehran will welcome Russian investors and private firms willing to undertake development and other projects in Iran.      

Putin described Iran as a “strategic partner”, saying Moscow attaches high importance to boosting relations with its southern neighbor.

“Moscow sees no limit to development of cooperation with Tehran,” he said.

The Russian president said the nuclear deal has been a big step to promote global peace and stability, and attempts by any party to the two-year pact to undermine the outcome of years of painstaking negotiations are not acceptable.

“We believe it is by no means justifiable to unilaterally terminate the deal,” he said, adding that the agreement has nothing to do with Iran’s defense and missile programs. Trump has threatened to pull out of the nuclear deal, unless its alleged flaws, including what he calls its failure to contain Iran’s missile and regional activities, are removed.

Moscow has criticized Trump’s antagonistic stance and rejected his demand to renegotiate the accord.

The two presidents also discussed the Syria conflict, and their joint cooperation with Turkey under the Astana peace process aimed at finding a peaceful settlement to the lingering crisis.

  Trilateral Summit

Putin was in Tehran to take part in the second three-way summit with Rouhani and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.

At the summit, Rouhani said interaction between the three countries helps promote regional cooperation and stability, adding that Iran “welcomes any idea and mechanism that could strengthen relations among Tehran, Moscow and Baku”.    

The corridor, serving as a bridge to connect the railroads of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia, is to provide faster and more efficient trade connectivity between Europe and Southeast Asia.

The three top officials also discussed ways of boosting trilateral energy cooperation, as well as joint efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking and transnational crime.

The presidents also exchanged views on the prospects of closer cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism and sports.

The first trilateral meeting was held in August 2016 in Baku where Rouhani, Putin and Aliyev discussed joint economic plans and other issues.

On the sidelines of the Tehran summit, Iranian and Russian officials signed six memorandums of understanding on improving collaboration in the field of oil and gas.

Aliyev also held separate meetings with the Leader and Rouhani.

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