Iran, Russia eye comprehensive cooperation

November 16, 2021 - 20:28

TEHRAN – Iran and Russia took one step closer to finalizing a comprehensive document on long-term cooperation à la the one finalized between Tehran and Beijing.

The presidents of Iran and Russia had an “in-depth” telephone conversation on Tuesday in which they discussed a number of issues ranging from Afghanistan and Syria to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and a cooperation document expected to raise Tehran-Moscow ties to a new level. 

Iranian and Russian readouts of the conversation both confirmed the extensive nature of the call, with the Russian one describing it as “in-depth.”

Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi appreciated the phone call of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and expressed Iran’s willingness to develop trade and economic relations with Russia.

The Iranian president then voiced Iran’s readiness to finalize the cooperation document. “We are ready to finalize a comprehensive document on long-term cooperation between the two countries so that the process of further development of the relations and cooperation between the two countries can be implemented as soon as possible,” Ayatollah Raisi told President Putin. 

Underlining convergence and synergy between Tehran and Moscow on many international issues, the Iranian president stressed the need for cooperation between the two countries on regional issues, and said, “We consider the continued presence of outsiders in Syria against the will of the Syrian people and government and illegal because it threatens the stability and security of the country,” according to the official website of the Iranian presidency.

Referring to the developments in Afghanistan, Ayatollah Raisi reiterated Iran’s position that an inclusive government should be formed in Kabul. “The Islamic Republic of Iran seeks to establish an all-inclusive government with the presence of all ethnic and political groups, and we believe that the formation of such a government can guarantee the security of the country,” he said. 

In addition to Syria and Afghanistan, the two presidents discussed other issues of mutual interest such as the tense situation in the South Caucasus region, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

On the Caucasus, Ayatollah Raisi told Putin that “any change in the geopolitical state and changing the borders of the countries in the region is not acceptable.” 

On the other side, Putin spoke about Russia’s measures to ensure the ceasefire, unblock economic and transport links and establish peaceful life in the region, according to the Kremlin. 

Putin also expressed concern over the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to the Iranian statement about the call. He also said, “To increase the level of trust and cooperation in the region, we seek to launch a 3+3 consultative mechanism, and we hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran supports it.”

Part of the conversation was on the JCPOA. The Russian president expressed support for the rights of the Iranian people on the nuclear issue and expressed hope that in future negotiations, the parties would have sufficient political will to get out of the current situation.

The Kremlin said Russia and Iran are advocating the comprehensive implementation of the JCPOA within the initially coordinated framework. Putin also expressed hope that the talks on this issue would be constructive.

The scope of conversation once again indicated the extent to which Tehran and Moscow could cooperate. Both countries have a complicated web of joint interests that would be better served with further strengthening of bilateral relations. To this end, Raisi and Putin underlined the need to further boost bilateral ties.

The Iranian president voiced Tehran’s readiness to finalize the comprehensive document. The Russian president, in turn, underlined that Moscow attaches great importance to improving the level of economic relations and finalizing joint investment programs with Iran. He added, “Moscow supports Tehran's proposals in drafting a new document on long-term cooperation between the two countries, and we are determined to make it finalized and implemented as soon as possible.”

President Putin noted, “We are witnessing positive inclinations for increasing the level of bilateral, regional and international cooperation, and there is no doubt that the development of cooperation will accelerate.”

The comprehensive document, if finalized, would be the second major Iranian agreement with non-Western powers after the 25-year partnership plan between Tehran and Beijing. 


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