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Iran and Russia Need to Close Ranks to Restrain US

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei says the sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran, Russia and Turkey can and should bring the three nations closer together and help strengthen their bilateral and multilateral ties
Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (R) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Friday. Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (R) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Friday.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said late Friday Iran and Russia can work together to contain the United States, adding that the developments in Syria proved that it can be reined in.

"One of the areas where the two sides can cooperate is containing the US because the US is a danger to humanity and it is possible to restrain it," he said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran, the Leader's official website reported. The Syrian issue is a successful example of curbing US influence in the region, he said. "The Americans have now truly been defeated in Syria and failed to achieve their goals."

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran, Russia and Turkey can and should bring the three nations closer together and help strengthen their bilateral and multilateral relations.

Putin was in Tehran to attend a three-way summit with President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, which focused on the Syrian province of Idlib, the last stronghold of active opposition to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Leader noted that Iran and Russia should ditch the US dollar in two-way trade and use their national currencies instead.  

  Nuclear Deal

He hailed Moscow's support for Iran on the nuclear deal, and said Tehran will make a decision on the fate of the agreement that will serve its national interest.

Officials in Tehran have often said they will respect the 2015 nuclear accord only if European states ensure Iran gets enough economic benefit despite the US unilateral withdrawal from the deal and the reimposition of sanctions.

  Strategic Mistake

The Russian president said the Americans are making a "major strategic error" by restricting financial transactions for short-term political gain as this will eventually diminish trust in the dollar weaken the currency.

He commented on his talks with Rouhani earlier in the day, saying that they discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields.

"In the energy sector, we discussed the building a new nuclear power plant and low-capacity power plants and discussed electrification of railroads and [ways to] increase Iran's oil exports," Putin told the Leader.

  Greater Unity

Ayatollah Khamenei separately met with the visiting Turkish leader on Friday and called for the expansion of relations in all areas and forging unity among Muslim nations.

"Unity and cooperation among Muslim nations will definitely facilitate the resolution of problems in the region and that is why hegemonic powers, led by the US, are concerned about their cooperation," the Leader said.

He added Iran and Turkey are two powerful regional countries who have always strived to empower the Ummah.

Erdogan expressed hope that problems besetting the Middle East would be resolved through closer  cooperation among regional states, particularly Iran and Turkey.  

He said regional crises can be partly attributed to the lack of meaningful unity among Muslim nations.

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