Rouhani: President Putin welcomes bolstering Iran-Russia ties in regional moves

FNA – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Wednesday that his letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations in regional moves and has been welcomed by Moscow.

“We have had good political contacts with Russia and China since months and years ago and they have strengthened more in recent weeks,” President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran today.

“I sent a message to the Russian president by foreign minister (Mohammad Javad Zarif) on strengthening Iran and Russia ties in regional moves which was welcomed by him,” he added.

President Rouhani expressed the hope that cooperation with the friendly and neighboring states, including Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Qatar, Iraq and Afghanistan, would continue.

Zarif traveled to Moscow on Tuesday to convey President Rouhani’s message to Putin. He said that Tehran and Moscow will certainly pursue extension of their 20-year-long treaty which will end next March.

“Extension of the agreement is on our agenda and if the Russian friends are ready to have another long-term deal, we can study it but extension of this agreement is certainly on our agenda,” Zarif told reporters upon arrival in Moscow on Tuesday.

Iran and Russia prepared a treaty in March 2001 as a roadmap for 10 years of bilateral relations and principles of cooperation between the two countries. The treaty is extended every five years automatically if not faced with opposition of both sides.

“Bilateral ties, the region and the nuclear deal are among issues to be discussed during the trip,” he added, describing the two countries’ relations as strategic.

Zarif said given the current conditions on the international scene, talks are needed to be held between Iran and Russia and China as two friendly states of Tehran.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi also accompanied Zarif in the trip.

Earlier, Iranian ambassador to Russia Kazzem Jalali had said that Zarif will deliver President Rouhani’s message to President Putin during the visit to Moscow.

This is the 30th visit of Zarif to Moscow as the Iranian Foreign Minister and his third visit to the country in the past six months. Zarif’s last official visit to Moscow was in mid-June 2020.

According to Jalali, the Iranian minister will also discuss JCPOA, regional developments, and bilateral ties with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavorv.

Leaders of the two countries, he continued, are determined to cement bilateral ties to safeguard common interests and help to ensure regional security, said the envoy.