Russia’s Putin meets Iranian counterpart Raisi on sidelines of regional SCO summit


Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed growing ties with Tehran as he met his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Thursday.

Putin said Iran will soon join the SCO, a security group formed by Beijing and Moscow, as a full-fledged member. Iran signed a memorandum of commitment Wednesday for its permanent membership in the regional organization.

Russia and Iran are finalizing a new major Russian-Iranian treaty that will elevate bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership, he said, adding that trade turnover has grown over the years.

Next week, a large business delegation involving about 80 Russian companies will travel to Iran, and inter-regional ties continue to develop, the president said.

For his part, Raisi called relations with Russia “strategic” and thanked Putin for Moscow’s contribution in facilitating the process of Iran’s accession to the SCO. All members will benefit from Iran’s membership, he added.

Raisi slammed US sanctions against Iran and Russia, saying restrictive measures only strengthen ties between countries.

“We believe that given the good partnership that is developing or has developed between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, we can make good steps forward in order to fully ensure the interests of our countries,” he said.

On the possible revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Raisi said Tehran does not leave and will never leave the negotiation table, but “it has been proven to everyone, the whole world knows that the United States of America is non-negotiable, they violate all obligations.”

“And, of course, everyone saw that the European Union is also passive, they are not able to fulfill their promises,” he added.



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