Rouhani to visit Russia on Monday, details announced

March 25, 2017

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to pay a formal visit to Russia on Monday, the presidential office said on Friday.

The two-day visit is at the official invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Rouhani plans to meet Putin, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Iranian residents in Russia.

Parviz Esmaeili, the president’s deputy chief of staff for communications and information, said that the Iranian and Russian senior officials would discuss key bilateral, regional and international issues.

He noted that agreements to expand cooperation in legal and judicial sectors, roads and urban development, technology and communications, energy and sports will be signed during the visit.

Earlier, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanai said the two sides are “preparing more than ten documents for signing” during the visit.

Esmaeili said Iranian entrepreneurs and business owners would also hold negotiations with their Russian counterparts and sign deals to strengthen cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors.

The Iranian and Russian presidents have held eight meetings over the past four years. The two also enjoy strategic relations with senior delegations of the two countries regularly exchanging visits.

The two presidents have also held several phone conversations on continuation of bilateral cooperation on the crisis in Syria and the fight against international terrorism.

Iran and Russia, a successful political era 

Iran and Russia have strengthened bilateral relations over the past few years. 

Russia was one of the countries, coupled with other five ones, which played a consequential role in finalizing the 2015 international nuclear deal which removed economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for it scaling down its nuclear program. 

Also, Russia and Iran are both providing crucial military support to President Bashar al-Assad against terrorists and jihadi fighters in Syria's six-year-old conflict.

Last August, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Nojeh air base, near the city of Hamadan, in north-west Iran to launch air strikes against armed groups in Syria.

It was the first time a foreign power had used an Iranian base since World War Two. 

Now, the two, in collaboration with Turkey, are directly involved in negotiations to end the Syrian crisis, brokering rounds of talks between the Syrian government and the opposition groups. 

The synergy has proven influential, resulting in a ceasefire which took force since the beginning of 2017. 

Also, Russia and Iran ended a disputed on an air defense system after Moscow concluded the supply of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran.

Moscow was committed to delivering the systems, which are used to target tactical and ballistic aircraft and projectiles, to Tehran under an $800-million deal in 2007.

However, Russia banned the delivery of the systems to Tehran back in 2010, citing the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions, which bars hi-tech weapons sales to the Islamic Republic.

NA/AK

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