Iran talks long-term partnership deal with Russia

Al-Monitor – To mitigate the impacts of the unrelenting US “maximum pressure” policy, Iran seems to be seeking solutions in clinching long-term partnership deals with allies.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrapped up a visit to Moscow, where he delivered a “special message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Upon return to Tehran, Zarif told reporters that the message from President Hassan Rouhani revolved around “some bilateral issues” as well as the Iran nuclear deal.

Zarif did not release further details on his one-hour conversation with Putin that was held over the phone due to the Russian president’s special “coronavirus-related protocols.” In recent weeks, the Islamic Republic has been in close dialogue with its key nuclear deal partners Russia and China, urging them to resist US pressure on extending an Iran arms embargo that will expire under the nuclear accord and UN Resolution 2231 in October. It was not immediately clear if Rouhani’s “important message” had to do with the embargo issue, but the expiry is expected to turn Iran into a lucrative weapons market for the Russian Federation.

The top Iranian diplomat also said he had discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov plans for a 20-year partnership agreement. A similar but shorter-term deal is already in place between Tehran and Moscow but will expire in March. Zarif noted that the two sides have agreed on signing a more comprehensive treaty.

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