Leader’s top military aide: Development of economic ties with Russia Iran’s top priority

TEHRAN (FNA)- Top Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi underlined Tehran and Moscow’s close strategies, and said expansion of economic relations with Russia stands atop the list of Iran’s priorities.

“Enhancement of economic relations with Russia is our top priority,” Rahim Safavi said in the Northern port city of Bandar Anzali on Wednesday.

“If we can develop a shared strategy with Russia in areas of politics, economy, security and defense, we will then be able to adopt a 30-year-long strategy against the US,” he added.

Rahim Safavi also referred to Iran’s “good” cooperation with Russia on Syria, and said, “The pivot of Russia, Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea is strategic.”

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced last month that the trade exchanges between Tehran and Moscow have increased 69% in the first six months of the current year compared with the same period in 2015.

“Within the framework of plans agreed by Tehran and Moscow, the trade value of the two countries’ exchanges has increased 69% in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period last year,” Novak said in a meeting with Iranian Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh in St. Petersburg.

He said that the development came as his country’s trade exchanges with other countries, including China, have decreased in the same period.

Nematzadeh underlined the necessity for funding joint projects in different energy, oil and railway sectors worth over $40bln.

Also in June, Iran confirmed reports that Russia plans to open a $5 billion credit line for Iran to help finance projects and exports in the country.

“Yes. The Russians have voiced readiness in negotiations to open a line of credit for exports,” Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht told reporters in Tehran.

“We have declared our readiness to Russia and other countries to use their resources for investment in Iran,” he added.

By Fars News Agency