Iran, Russia discuss boosting ties

August 21, 2021 - 21:45

TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali has met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov to discuss the need to expand mutual cooperation in various fields.

The two sides explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral ties in different areas, Fars News reported. They also exchanged views on developments in West Asia, and the Persian Gulf region, including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq.

The meeting was held on Wednesday concurrently with another meeting between the Head of Iran’s Supreme Council of World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought Ali Qazi Asgar and Interim Head of Russian Federation Muftis Council Demir Mohyeddinev. The two sides agreed to broaden the level of cooperation on Islamic unity.

In the meeting held at the Headquarters of the Russian Federation Muftis Council in Moscow in the presence of the Head of Moscow Islamic Center Saber Akbari Jeddi, and the Iranian Embassy’s Cultural Attaché Masood Ahmadvand, Demir Mohyeddinev said that the Shia and Sunni Russian Muslims enjoy peaceful coexistence, IRNA reported. 

He added that one of the major objectives of the Russian Federation Muftis Council is the establishment and strengthening of strong friendly ties among the entire world Muslims.

The Head of Supreme Council of World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought Ali Qazi Asgar, too, said that during the years of serving as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei at the Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization he had close cooperation with the Russian Federation Muftis Council on satisfactory performance of the Hajj pilgrimage and the affairs related to that great Islamic annual gathering.

The Islamic societies around the globe have lots of commonalities, such as the glorious Qur’an and the Hajj pilgrimage rituals, which can serve as the foundation stones for their proximity, and the Supreme Leader’s approach on interactions among world Muslims is based on the same principle, said Qazi Asgar, according to IRNA. 

 Raisi, Putin hold phone talks

Also on Wednesday, Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi spoke over the phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Speaking with the Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening by telephone, Ayatollah Raisi described the development of relations with Russia as an important priority of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy.

“We are looking for ways to remove the obstacles in the development of relations and opening new doors, and we are determined to increase the volume of bilateral trade with Russia,” according to a statement by the Iranian presidency.

Emphasizing that Iran is determined to promote friendly and comprehensive relations between the two countries in a way that will become a successful model for non-neighboring relations, the president added, “We have a serious will to finalize the comprehensive document of Iran-Russia cooperation as soon as possible.”

Raisi thanked Moscow for its initiative to launch the process of Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and described it as a step towards strengthening very close relations between the two countries.

The Iranian president thanked Russia for its cooperation in preventing the outbreak of coronavirus and for the effort to jointly produce the COVID-19 vaccine, stating, “Iran is requesting to receive more shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine due to the current special circumstances.”

Ayatollah Raisi added, “As a party to international treaties such as the NPT, the Islamic Republic of Iran is serious about enforcing the rights of its people in the field of peaceful nuclear activities and enjoying the benefits and achievements of this technology in all peaceful fields.”

He said, “The United States intends to use its political and media games to stand as a plaintiff instead of a criminal, and instead of being accountable for violating its promises and oppressive and illegal actions, put Iran in that position.”

Referring to the developments in Afghanistan, Ayatollah Raisi said, “The establishment of security and peace in Afghanistan has always been emphasized by the Islamic Republic and we believe that all active Afghan groups should work together to establish stability in the country as soon as possible, and turn the U.S. withdrawal a turning point for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

Expressing readiness for any cooperation for the establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan, President Raisi said, “The successful experience of Iran-Russia cooperation in the fight against takfiri terrorism in Syria has opened new windows for the two sides to increase Tehran-Moscow interaction.”

The Russian president, for his part, pointed out that the development of relations with Iran is of great importance to Russia, adding, “The remarks of Iran's Supreme Leader, who said that the high level of mutual trust and high economic capacity in the two countries can lead to tangible results in the bilateral fields, is well etched in my memory.”

Putin added, “Through the speaker of the Russian Duma, who met with Your Excellency on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony, I was informed of the offer to conclude a comprehensive agreement on bilateral cooperation, and I welcome and support this positive initiative.”

Referring to the ongoing process of delivering the corona vaccine to Iran, Putin stated, “The delivery of the corona vaccine to Iran will accelerate from September.”

Referring to the Vienna nuclear talks, the Russian president also stated, “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) could not be held hostage to problems not related to the nuclear deal.”

In the end, the two presidents expressed hope that they would meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai pact in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and discuss more detailed issues of interest.