Putin replies to Leader’s message

March 7, 2021 - 21:54

TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has received a reply from Russian President Vladimir Putin to a message the Leader had sent through Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.

Putin’s reply was delivered to Velayati on Saturday by Russian Ambassador to Iran Levan Jagarian.

Qalibaf traveled to Moscow in February to hold talks with high-ranking Russian officials and deliver an important message from the Leader to the Russian president.

Qalibaf met with his Russian counterpart Vyacheslav Volodin and other officials. Volodin also served as Putin’s special representative in receiving Ayatollah Khamenei’s message.

“My today’s visit to Russia is being done at the invitation of the chairman of the Russian State Duma. The Leader has always underlined our strategic relations with Russia…. One of the outstanding aspects of this visit is that I am carrying an important message about strategic issues,” Qalibaf told reporters at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport before leaving for Moscow.

The message’s details are yet to be disclosed. Some Iranian officials suggested that the message was about the current state of play in the region. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the special aide to the speaker of the Iranian Parliament on international affairs, noted that the message had something with Iran’s relations with the West after Joe Biden assumed office in the U.S. and the impact of these relations on Tehran’s ties with the emerging powers in the East.

Amir-Abdollahian, who accompanied Qalibaf during his visit to Moscow, said the visit was done in a “sensitive period of time” when new people are moving into the White House.

“The visit… will send a message to the Islamic Republic’s regional allies that Iran will no longer waste time waiting for the game of the White House’s new people or the three European signatories to the JCPOA (France, the UK and Germany),” Amir-Abdollahian said in an article for khamenei.ir website, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers by its acronym.

“Any decision in the White House will not change the Islamic Republic's approach to maintaining, strengthening, developing and consolidating Tehran’s strategic relations with Moscow and Beijing, and the Islamic Republic of Iran's strategic and long-term view of Asia as an important player in the last century,” the special aide continued.

Amir-Abdollahian noted that the White House developments will not affect Iran’s strategic relations and that the Islamic Republic’s regional partners “should know that the White House developments cannot affect our strategic relations.”

He added that Ayatollah Khamenei found it necessary to send a strategic message to Russia in this period.

The message came against a backdrop of renewed efforts to strengthen strategic ties between Iran and Russia on the one hand and with China on the other.

These efforts are being made in midst of a public debate in the West over a possible return of the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

President Joe Biden had vowed to rejoin the JCPOA during his election campaign but he reneged on his promise. Now, the U.S. says it will return to the nuclear deal only after Iran resumes full compliance with the deal.

Qalibaf himself gave some details about the Leader’s message during his trip to Russia. Speaking during the trip, Qalibaf noted that through the message, Ayatollah Khamenei had laid emphasis on the “strong and strategic nature of relations between Iran and Russia.”

The quality of the ties had rendered them insusceptible to political changes and unilateral approaches throughout the world, Qalibaf added, still citing the contents of the letter.

In their Saturday meeting, Velayati and the Russian envoy also addressed the issue of bilateral relations, stressing the importance of their development in all areas, including defense, oil, nuclear, industrial, agricultural, and trade sectors, according to Press TV.

Velayati called the neighbors “important friends” to one another, whose strategic relationship was characterized by “adherence to reciprocal respect.”

The official pointed to the longevity of the countries’ strategic ties as well as their economic, cultural, and commercial cooperation, and noted how regional situations and developments had deepened the two sides’ cooperation and interaction even further.

The advisor to the Leader cited Iran and Russia’s decisive contribution to Syria’s anti-terror struggle that has been going on at Damascus’ request, and their consultations and contribution to the restoration of peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia late last year as important instances of their successful cooperation.

As regards Syria, Velayati said, Tehran and Moscow’s “very effective cooperation” helped the Arab country triumphantly resist “an imposed international war” that was recruiting more than 70 countries. He was referring to the 2014 invasion of Syria by a bloated United States-led coalition under the pretext of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh.

Velayati said the strategic nature of the Russo-Iranian relations warranted effective cooperation on regional and international arenas.

The Russian ambassador, for his part, expressed delight over the progressive quality of bilateral ties, noting that the two countries have taken “effective steps” towards enhancing relations.


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