Iranian Raisi says visit to Moscow a ‘turning point’ in bilateral ties

Tehran, Iran – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his visit to Moscow could mark a “turning point” in bilateral relations between the two countries ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Before departing on Wednesday for the Russian capital for a two-day trip, the Iranian president described Iran and Russia as strong, independent and influential nations in the region that could enhance their security and trade by maintaining close dialogue. . .

“We have common interests with Russia and our collaboration and common interests could certainly create security and fight unilateralism in the region,” Raisi said in a joke to the United States, which imposed different levels of sanctions. against both countries.

Raisi added that the current level of ties is not satisfactory with either Iran or Russia, so they both want to use this visit to make improvements.

Political, economic, energy, trade and space issues will be among the topics discussed in Moscow, according to the president.

Their previous 20-year contract ended last year and although it could be automatically renewed for five years, both sides agreed it needed improvements.

The two countries are working on signing a new and improved long-term bilateral cooperation agreement, but it is not expected to be finalized during Raisi’s visit.

Raisi and Putin were originally scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tajikistan in September, but the Russian president had to self-isolate due to a COVID-19 infection among his officials.

With the backing of all seven permanent members, Iran’s bid to become a full member of the SCO was approved at the time, signaling a diplomatic victory amid harsh US sanctions imposed on it in 2018. when US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iranian nuclear power. Powerful. OKAY.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has vowed to revive the landmark 2015 deal that capped Tehran’s nuclear program instead of sanctions relief.

In Moscow, Raisi is accompanied by his Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Economy Minister Ehsan Khandoozi and Oil Minister Javad Owji.

In what is the first visit to Russia by an Iranian president since 2017, Raisi will address the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, on Thursday.

He is also due to meet a number of Iranians living in Russia and hold a session with Russian businessmen.

The visit comes as talks are underway in Vienna to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers including the United States.

Russia has repeatedly said it supports reinstating the landmark deal and fully lifting US sanctions inconsistent with the deal.

After a United Nations embargo on Iran’s purchase of conventional weapons ended over American objections in October 2020, Iran became interested in buying advanced Russian weapons, including planes. fighters, helicopters and tanks.

Iranian Raisi’s message that the visit to Moscow is ‘turning’ in bilateral relations first appeared on Al Jazeera.

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