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Iran, Russia to sign 20-year strategic cooperation deal
Iran and Russia said on Thursday they were working to finalize a 20-year strategic cooperation accord.
“We hope to soon have expert-level meetings to finalize the terms of this agreement and have it approved by the governments and parliaments of Iran and Russia,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told a joint press conference with his visiting Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Tehran.
Amir-Abdollahian said Iran would welcome “the comprehensive long-term and strategic cooperation agreement” between the two countries.
Lavrov said Russia and Iran had decided to bolster their relations “to reach a high level” under a “major agreement” initiated by President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi.
He said Moscow and Tehran agreed to expedite the expert review of “the important document” and finish it as soon as possible.
“The document shapes the future of our strategic partnership for the next 20 years,” he said, adding that the deal would cover trade, economic and political issues.
Raeisi visited Moscow in January and said he had presented his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin with draft documents on strategic cooperation that would cement collaboration between the two sides for the next two decades.
Amir-Abdollahian and Lavrov on Thursday also highlighted the need for joint efforts to offset “illegal US sanctions”.
Iran’s top diplomat said Tehran and Moscow reached “important agreements” over the past months to render US sanctions ineffective”.
He noted that Iran opposed both war and the imposition of “illegal sanctions” on countries.
Iran and Russia have both been targeted by Western sanctions.
Lavrov said during his meeting with Amir-Abdollahian, they discussed the need to boost bilateral trade despite US sanctions.
“It is upon us to develop relations between the two countries even as illegal sanctions by the United States and its allies have hindered the dynamic cooperation of Iran and Russia with the world,” he pointed out.
Lavrov said trade between Russia and Iran had increased by 80% despite US sanctions, reaching $4 billion last year.
Lavrov arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for key talks with Iranian officials including President Raeisi who told the top diplomat Iran and Russia were determined to “open a new chapter of fruitful and strategic cooperation”, particularly in the economic sector.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would “certainly” visit Iran, but noted that the exact date was not known yet.
Iran a reliable partner connecting BRICS to energy chokepoints: Raeisi
President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi on Friday said Iran could be a “reliable partner” in connecting the group of emerging economies, known as BRICS, to energy chokepoints.
“Iran’s unique geopolitical and economic position can make it a reliable and sustainable partner in linking BRICS [member states] to energy chokepoints and major global markets,” Raeisi told a virtual summit of BRICS hosted by China.
He said Iran was ready to share all its capabilities and potentials including “unparalleled energy reserves and short and cheap transport routes” as well as “significant scientific achievements” and trained workforce to help the bloc reach its goals.
Raeisi said BRICS, as a pioneering organization consisting of large emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – had created “new trends” in the world through its “appropriate initiatives” including the Global Development Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping last year.
The Chinese initiative calls on all countries to forge united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership, and promote cooperation in a wide range of areas such as fighting poverty, public health, education and industrialization.
The Iranian president noted it was necessary to set up and support new organizations like BRICS alongside the United Nations to help achieve a “human society with a common future” and counter unilateralism, nationalist preferences, and challenges such as sanctions and coercive economic measures.
He said BRICS had played an effective role in advancing its goals such as reforms in the international financial system or introducing the Belt and Road Initiative and launching the New Development Bank to improve public welfare and strengthen international peace and stability.
Iran urges Turkey not to remain silent on ‘baseless’ Israeli claims
Iran on Friday dismissed as “baseless” allegations of Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid that Israelis could become the target of Iranian attacks in Turkey, saying such claims were part of the Tel Aviv’s attempts to deflect public opinion from its terrorist acts in Palestine.
In a statement on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the allegations fell within the framework of a plot orchestrated by “the child-murdering and rogue regime” of Israel aimed at sowing discord between the two neighboring Muslim countries.
“Unfortunately, a psychological operation started nearly a week ago to preoccupy media outlets with fictitious scenarios, using erroneous and biased information. It sought to prepare the ground for the Israeli foreign minister’s projective scenario,” Khatibzadeh said, according to Press TV.
“Turkey is well aware of the baseless nature of claims made by the representative of the deceitful [Israeli] regime and Zionist terrorists. It is expected not to remain silent in the face of these divisive comments. The regime has repeatedly shown how unreliable it is.”
Khatibzadeh added that Iran would determinedly and strongly respond to any Israeli act of terror and sabotage without threatening ordinary citizens and the national security of other countries.
“No one would ever believe in the Israeli regime’s false claims of being subject to oppression other than itself. Even if some parties, due to temporary expediency, express support, they actually know what a dangerous regime they are faced with,” the spokesman said.
Lapid on Thursday claimed in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu that Iran was behind “attempted terrorist attacks” against Israelis in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Israel has been involved in a string of sabotage attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities in recent years and has killed many top nuclear scientists and military officials in cowardly strikes.
More recently, on May 22, Iranian Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was shot dead outside his home in Tehran. Iranian officials blamed it on Israel and vowed strong retaliation.
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