Iran Seeks to Strengthen Relations with Russia

Monday, February 1, 2016

A senior Iranian official says Tehran seeks to strengthen relations with Russia as the two countries share a common stance on the Syrian crisis.

“Tehran and Moscow have common stance and viewpoints on the Syrian issue and regional issues are on the agenda of my talks with Russian officials,” Ali Akbar Velayati, the adviser on international affairs to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said.

He added that Tehran and Moscow support the settlement of the Syrian crisis through political approaches.

Velayati said the two countries have always enjoyed “unique and strategic” relations and expanded mutual ties in different fields, particularly in nuclear and defense, as well as regional cooperation including a coalition among Iran, Syria, Russia and Iraq to fight terrorism.

He cited “extremism” in the region as a common threat which “is spreading to the Central Asia and western China,” saying cooperation between the two countries was crucial to checking the menace.

Velayati said, “The course of the long-term, strategic cooperation between the two countries is irreversible and the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to increase its support and cooperation in all areas.”

“Bilateral cooperation, especially after the victory of Iran’s Revolution, is unprecedented in the history of the two countries and we are pursuing ties with the East especially Russia in line with the strategic view of the Eminent Leader.”

The Iranian official assured that relations with Russia stand on a strong footing after a landmark visit by President Hassan Rouhani to Europe and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s travel to Tehran last month.

“Both Iran and Russia are seriously committed to their long-term strategic relationship but they should also take practical steps to increase the volume of their exchanges especially in the economic sphere,” Velayati said. 

The top Iranian official said during his stay in the Russian capital, he will also attend a seminar on bilateral cooperation in the modern geopolitical situation.

Velayati arrived in Moscow on Monday (February 1, 2016) morning to hold talks with senior Russian officials on ways to strengthen relations. The visit comes at the invitation of Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov.

*Photo Credit: Press TV

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