Isna: Referring to Iran’s role in the South Caucasus region, the Russian ambassador to Iran called the Western claims about Tehran’s military assistance to Moscow in the Ukraine war unfounded and emphasized that the US and Western sanctions against Iran have not affected Iran’s economic growth.
In an interview published on Tuesday, Alexey Dedov, Moscow’s ambassador to Tehran, said about Iran-Russia relations: The relations between the two countries have been expanding over the past year. The talks at the highest level continued regularly, the exchange of delegations increased in all directions and the contacts remained very active. Perhaps the most important event of last year was the visit of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Moscow on December 7, 2023 and his talks with Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
Referring to the recent visit of the President of the Russian State Duma and his deputy to Iran, he emphasized that the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries is expanding well.
The free trade agreement between Iran and Eurasia should give a strong impetus to Tehran-Moscow economic cooperation
In a detailed interview with Ryanovsti news agency, Dedov considered Iran’s joining the BRICS group as one of the most important events of the past year and said: In late December 2023, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mr. Aliabadi, visited Moscow. Why is this trip important? During this trip, the free trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union was signed, and this should give a strong impetus to the economic cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.
This senior Russian diplomat added: If I want to present the list of meetings between the two countries in the past year, it will be very long, and of course there have been international platforms and intensive interactions. This includes Afghanistan, Syria, Transcaucasia, Middle East, JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). All this is happening actively and regularly, and I think it is also in the interest of bilateral relations between our countries.
A favorable atmosphere prevails over the talks between Russia and Iran
In response to a question about the approach of the Iranian media and people towards Tehran-Moscow relations, which may be negative in some cases, he clarified: There are people in Iran who focus on developing relations with the West, and this is understandable for us. But the current real interests of Iran and Iranian society are in the development and strengthening of beneficial bilateral relations with Russia. Many people express closeness to our country, show interest in our culture and language, and in general, I must say that there is a completely favorable atmosphere for Russia-Iran dialogues.
In response to the question, how will rising tensions in the West Asian region affect Russia’s interests in this region, its foreign policy, and its relations with Iran? He said: Russia always supports stability and security in the Middle East. This is an inseparable and unchangeable principle in our foreign policy. We have promoted multilateral efforts to resolve the conflict in the international arena, but unfortunately, this does not match the approach of Western countries.
America’s actions in the Security Council have led to tragic consequences
He continued: The United States and the European Union have tried for a long time to take unilateral economic measures. The Americans claimed to support the settlement of disputes in the Middle East, but eventually stopped their activities in a quadrilateral international platform for mediation that included Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Now the Americans are also blocking the work of the UN Security Council – they were the ones who vetoed the cease-fire resolution in Gaza, which, as we know, has led to tragic consequences.
Alexey Dedov pointed out: Russia’s priorities and interests in the Middle East are clearly defined in the concept of Moscow’s foreign policy approved by President Putin last year, and we are trying to strengthen cooperation with the countries of the region and to the political structure- Respect their social, traditional, spiritual and moral values. Russia has good and friendly relations with almost all countries in the region, including Iran, and for this reason it is interested in these countries living in peace and tranquility. The current conflict in Gaza is really a serious challenge for the stability and development of the entire region. We are trying to do our part to solve this problem.
Iran’s economy has grown more than Germany’s in 2023
In response to a question about the claim of the West and the United States regarding Iran’s military support to Russia during the country’s war with Ukraine, the imposition of sanctions against Tehran under this pretext, and its effect on public opinion in Iran and the relations between the two countries, he said: The West’s illegal sanctions against Iran, interestingly, the heaviest of them have nothing to do with our military operations. Iran’s economy suffered the most after the Americans withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and the subsequent policy of maximum pressure on Iran, which affected the oil, banking and transportation sectors. The current sanctions imposed by the West because of Iran’s alleged support for Russia in the Ukraine war – which, incidentally, is fundamentally false – have mainly a political impact and little impact on Iran’s economic indicators. According to the data of the World Bank, Iran’s economy has grown by more than 4.2 percent in 2023. If you compare this to a country like Germany, the economic growth there is only 0.3% if I’m not mistaken.
In response to the question that considering the friendly relations between Iran and Russia, can allies in politics become competitors in the economy? And how will this affect their relationship? He clarified: In fact, there are areas where Russia and Iran can compete on the world stage, but we do not see anything in this field that will negatively affect our relations. In fact, our countries have large oil and gas reserves, but this does not cause a problem, on the contrary, it helps the close cooperation between Tehran and Moscow within the framework of OPEC and the Assembly of Gas Exporting Countries. Russian energy companies are successfully operating in the Iranian market, and last year Russia won the first place in foreign investment in Iran. So, this is just a picture of the true level of our relationship. I must say that in the field of economic cooperation between Tehran and Moscow, we have a wide perspective ahead of us.
Iran has always been an important player in the Transcaucasia region
The senior Russian diplomat also talked about the increasing role of Iran in the Caucasus region and whether Russia is worried about losing its position in this region. He stated: Iran has always been an important player in the Transcaucasia region. We see that the Iranian side is ready to interact with Russia in this region. We have similar positions that all conflicts and all conflicts in this region should be resolved through peaceful political and diplomatic efforts by the countries of the region themselves and without the intervention of foreign forces, whose actions (Western countries) as in practice We also see that, including in relation to the differences between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, it only leads to an increase in tension.
The Russian authorities mean the Transcaucasia, the South Caucasus. The Caucasus is a region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and is divided into 2 parts, the South Caucasus and the North Caucasus. South Caucasus includes the countries of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and parts of Iran and Turkey.
Many Persian Gulf countries have shown interest in the North-South Corridor
He further said: We consult in all fields, including economic, cultural, political, transportation, trade, information technology, communication, natural resources, energy, and tourism, and of course there is also the North-South International Transportation Corridor, which is a very promising project. Is. As far as we know, many Persian Gulf countries have shown interest in it. In May 2013, an intergovernmental agreement was signed to complete the last section of the Rasht-Astara railway. Another project under discussion is the creation of the Russia-Transcaucasia-Iran energy bridge, which includes the exchange and transportation of electricity between Russia, Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Iran during peak periods.
Dedov in response to a question about talks with Iran to cancel visas between the two countries and what is the obstacle on Moscow’s way to make a final decision in this regard? He stated: It is too early to talk about the complete cancellation of visas, because taking the relevant decision requires a long process of coordination, taking into account the positions of all competent ministries and departments of both countries, including those responsible for ensuring the control of migration flows. But nevertheless, such work is being done; In August last year, the practical implementation of the intergovernmental agreement on visa-free group travel, which was signed in 2017, began. Within its framework, groups of tourists from 5 to 50 people were organized. In addition, for entrepreneurs, students and people involved in scientific, cultural or creative activities, there is a simple procedure for obtaining a visa, according to the intergovernmental agreement on the facilitation of reciprocal travel conditions. As far as we know, Iranian citizens traveling to Russia actively use this.
We expect the cooperation document to be signed in the near future
The Russian ambassador in Tehran also asked about the new cooperation agreement between the two countries and what opportunities it provides for Iran and Russia. He said: This is really the most important fundamental document that may determine the interaction between Russia and Iran for years and decades to come. We are talking about a new intergovernmental agreement, a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Work is currently underway to finalize this document, and although it is still difficult to set an exact date, we expect it to be signed in the near future.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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