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Tehran, Moscow boosting strategic relations

Tehran, April 17, IRNA - Policies adopted by Tehran and Moscow are becoming more harmonious on a daily basis as their bilateral as well as multilateral moves and measures are becoming more consistent with each other.

Over the past few years, the two countries’ top officials have repeatedly stressed the importance and necessity of expanding mutual relations an instance of which occurred last week (April 9) when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks with Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin in the Iranian capital and called for closer ties between Tehran and Moscow.

Speaking in the meeting, Rouhani said Tehran and Moscow are developing their strategic relations. Commenting on his previous 12 meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the past few years, he added, “Every time that we met and held talks with each other, we took another step toward developing our mutual relations in all areas on a daily basis.”

Casting a brief glance at relations between Iran and Russia, the expansion of their economic, political, legal, judicial, scientific and cultural cooperation can easily be witnessed. The conclusion of 14 cooperation agreements between Tehran and Moscow in late March in a ceremony attended by Rouhani and Putin bear clear testimony to this fact.

Nevertheless, it should be borne in mind that although the value of the two countries’ annual transactions currently stand at $2 billion, the figure does not seem significant compared to their trade capacities and potential. Trade between Iran and Russia is expected to amount to $10 billion in a not-so-distant future.

In addition to economic and energy cooperation, collaborations in politics and security are more important fields of their teamwork. Cooperation in this field has placed the two states in the path of setting up a strategic connection and partnership.

Following the Ukraine crisis in 2014, relations between Russia and the West began to deteriorate which led to the imposition of sanctions by Europe on Moscow. The US, forming a closer alignment with Europe, compelled Russia to further expand its relations and cooperation with the East and neighboring states.

Iran is on the other side of the equation which has been under the severest Western sanctions for more than a decade and has always seen Russia on its side. Even in the aftermath of the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Tehran and P5+1 in July 2015 which was followed by an improving trend in Iran’s relations with the world, Iran has maintained its close and strong ties with Russia.

Since the implementation of the JCPOA in January 2016, Russian officials voiced the strongest support for this internationally recognized deal.

Russia expressed opposition to US anti-JCPOA policies during the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six world powers and has continued doing after the JCPOA went into effect. Moscow views the JCPOA as a positive and non-negotiable agreement to which all signatories should remain committed, whereas Donald Trump describes it as the “worst deal ever”.

In addition to Russia’s frequent support for the nuclear deal, Tehran and Moscow have conducted nuclear transactions in the post-JCPOA era and have held numerous seminars to further enhance their cooperation in this field. An example of such seminars was the workshop jointly held by Iran and Russia on October 17 and 18, 2017, titled ‘25 Years of Cooperation between Russia and Iran in the Area of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy’.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in the workshop, “Such seminars and conferences can display the effectiveness of nuclear, scientific and technical cooperation between Iran and Russia and have this intangible capacity to ensure that [uttering] threats and [provoking] conflicts fail to be the best guarantee for peace and stability in the world.”

He added peace and stability can be established and achieved through honest cooperation among states.

The strategic relationship between Iran and Russia has frequently been reflected in the meetings of the United Nations Security Council.

In late February, the UK’s proposed resolution, backed by the US and France, baselessly accusing Iran of aggravating Yemen’s crisis was put to vote and was vetoed by Russia. Moscow’s proposed resolution, refuting unfounded claims accusing Iran of supplying weapons to Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters, however, was, then, approved with 15 votes in favor.

Supporting Syria’s official government as well as fighting terrorism and extremism in the region are among the most important issues of mutual interest further encouraging Iran and Russia to boost their strategic connection and partnership.

To justify its interference in the regional affairs, the West has triggered conflicts as well as ethnic, sectarian and religious tensions in the region by forming and arming terrorist groups.

Iran and Russia’s opposition to the West’s hostile and interventionist policies in the region has caused the US to hatch plots against these two states.

Source: Iran Daily (Tehran-based English language newspaper)

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