Raisi, Putin hold high profile meeting, vow to upgrade trade ties

January 19, 2022 - 22:0

TEHRAN — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a high-profile meeting in the Kremlin on Wednesday.

The meeting won attention by international media outlets and political leaders alike.

At the meeting President Raisi said that the current level of trade between Iran and Russia is not satisfactory.

“Economic and trade relations between the two countries are not satisfactory at the moment,” Raisi remarked.

Raisi who visited Russia on Wednesday for a two-day visit is accompanied by a high-ranking delegation consisting of Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Oil Minister Javad Oji, and Economy and Finance Minister Ehsan Khandouzi.

In his talks with the Russian leader, President Raisi assessed cooperation between Iran and Russia in the fight against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria as very useful, saying this interaction is an example of successful cooperation to ensure the stability of the region. 

“Iran and Russia gained indispensable experiences in uprooting terrorism in Syria on the basis of mutual ties,” Raisi noted in the high-profile meeting which lasted for 37 minutes.

He then went on to say that relations with Russia will be “strategic” and will not be temporary.

The Iranian president then pointed to Iran’s resistance against the Western pressure since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, saying, “We have been standing against the West for more than forty years and we will not tie the country's progress to sanctions.”

The U.S. has introduced the harshest sanctions in history against Iran since it withdrew from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018.
 
At the meeting Raisi went on to say that cooperation in regional organizations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), can have effective impacts on various areas between member countries, including Iran and Russia.

He then went on to say that from the very beginning of his government, he has pursued the plan to promote neighborhood diplomacy, and there is no obstacle for cooperation and constructive interaction between Tehran and Moscow.

For his part, Putin said that the two presidents have an extensive agenda on the table.

He began his remarks by asking the Iranian president to convey his greetings to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. 

The Russian leader also praised cooperation between Russia and Iran in the fight against terrorists in Syria.

“Iranian and Russian support has helped overcome terrorist threats on the Syrian soil,” the Russian president noted. 

Putin then went on to appreciate development of Iran's relations with the Eurasian Economic Union and the ongoing work to establish a free trade zone.

“Continuous and stable relations have been established between the two sides since Mr. Raisi came to power, and despite the difficult conditions of the pandemic, trade between the two countries have been on the rise since last year,” Putin said. 

Iran-Russia relations gained new momentum at the Tashkent Summit (Iran-Russia Summit) in 2013 and reached the level of strategic partnership. The Wednesday talks between the presidents of Iran and Russia in Moscow marked another milestone in deepening cooperation between the two countries.

The visit is expected to bring good results for West Asia and the Caucasus and lead to an increase in regional cooperation. 

Iran and Russia have a special responsibility to ensure and maintain stability and security in the region. They are actively trying to play a positive role in the region.

Raisi’s visit to Moscow comes at a time when the two countries are enjoying excellent relations. The leaders of the two countries hope to upgrade the level of relations and cooperation to new highs in various fields.

The warm relationship between Iran as a regional power and Russia as the second-largest power in the world is highly significant. 

Also, the two countries together account for more than 37% of the world's gas resources.

Russia, with 35 trillion cubic meters of gas, holds more than 19 percent of the world's gas reserves. About 65% of the reserves are located in the Siberian region.

Iran, with 33 trillion cubic meters of discovered gas reserves and a share of 17.1 percent, holds second place after Russia. 

The meeting between Raisi and Putin at the time that talks are underway in Vienna to lift illegal sanctions on the Islamic Republic was also important. 

Russia is a party to the multilateral nuclear deal. 

Russia has defended Iran’s position in the nuclear talks, announcing that the extraterritorial sanctions that Washington has imposed on Tehran are “illegitimate and counter-productive.”
 

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