Tabnak – While the United States and its regional allies are increasing the pressures on Iran in many ways, the Islamic Republic appears to eye strengthening ties with Russia as a way to counter the rivals and enemies. The recent visit between Iran’s special envoy and the Russian president could be interpreted in this context.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ali Akbar Velayati, an international adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, held a meeting in Russia on Thursday. Velayati, also acting as a special envoy of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, has travelled to Russia to submit messages from Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and also the Iranian president to the Russian leader.
Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, Velayati said that the Russian president has announced plans for investment of up to $50 billion in Iran’s oil and gas sector, adding that Russian firms could replace the western oil companies that have left the Islamic Republic.
Hailing the “very constructive, clear and cordial” negotiations in the meeting that took about two hours, Velayati said the two sides discussed all issues of mutual interest.
The Russian president has expressed satisfaction with the progress in the bilateral ties between Tehran and Moscow and with the implementation of the agreements achieved in his meetings with President Rouhani in recent years, he said.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei regards Iran’s relations with Russia as “strategic”, Velayati said, adding that Putin holds the same belief.
Highlighting Putin’s satisfaction with a 36-percent increase in the value of trade exchange between Iran and Russia in the first 4 months of 2018, Velayati said the Russian leader has emphasized the necessity for close cooperation with Iran in the oil industry, peaceful nuclear energy, communications and the North-South railroad corridor connecting the Russian city of St. Petersburg to Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar.
As regards cooperation in the energy industry, Velayati said one of Russia’s major oil companies has signed a $4-billion agreement with Iran, which will be implemented soon. Two other large Russian oil companies, namely Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, have started negotiations with Iran to sign agreements worth up to $10 billion, he added.
Velayati also quoted Putin as hailing the oil cooperation between Iran and Russia, saying Russia has announced readiness to make investment as high as $50 billion in Iran’s oil and gas industry, and that Russian firms could replace the western companies that have left Iran.
On regional cooperation, Velayati said Putin has emphasized that Russia and Iran will keep working together to support Syria’s legitimate government and also cooperate in Iraq to defend the territorial integrity of the two nations.
Iranian Foreign Ministry had previously announced that Velayati’s trip is part of plans to send special envoys to other countries to convey messages of top Iranian leaders after the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“In these messages, our country’s views and stances regarding the US’ selfish and illegal behavior are explained to other countries,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Wednesday.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.