The agenda included matters of bilateral cooperation, current international and regional issues, and problems with implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, I would like to begin by thanking you for finding the time to come to Russia in these difficult Covid times.
We have been in constant contact since your inauguration, but of course, videoconferences and telephone conversations cannot replace personal meetings.
I would like to note that despite the pandemic we increased trade even the year before last. This increase was not big – over 6 percent, but it was still an increase. Last year, our trade grew by more than 38 percent. We are carrying out our major projects in many areas.
We closely cooperate in the international arena. We can say that our efforts largely helped the Syrian government overcome the threats linked with international terrorism. Now both you and we are concerned about the situation that is taking shape in Afghanistan. I would like to discuss all these issues with you and hear your position on these problems.
Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are developing relations on a temporary basis, under a temporary agreement. We are doing much to create a long-term foundation for cooperation and a free trade area between Iran and our union.
Iran plays a major role as an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as well.
Finally, it is very important for me to know your position on the JCPOA.
In other words, we have a very extensive agenda. I am happy to see you.
As we begin our meeting, I would like to ask you to convey my very best wishes to your spiritual leader – Mr Khamenei. Welcome.
President of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi (retranslated): Thank you very much.
In the name of Rahman, I would like to thank you sincerely, Your Excellency, for inviting me to Moscow. I am very happy to have this meeting with you today.
Your Excellency, I would like to thank you for supporting the Islamic Republic of Iran in becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In foreign policy, the will of the Islamic Republic of Iran is in cooperation, full cooperation with countries, neighbouring countries in particular.
As for relations with the friendly Russian Federation, we want these relations to be sustainable and comprehensive. We can develop our relations in the economy, trade, politics, culture and all other areas that benefit our two countries and our two peoples. So, we can develop and expand bilateral cooperation in all of these areas.
We in the Islamic Republic of Iran have no restrictions on developing and expanding ties with friendly Russia and these ties will become strategic. Therefore, these relations will not be short-term or situational – they will be permanent and strategic.
I would like to say that in the current, exceptional conditions when unilateral actions by the West, including the US are being confronted, we can create synergy in our cooperation.
We have opposed the Americans for over 40 years and we will never stop progress and national development because of sanctions or threats. We are of course trying to have these sanctions lifted. We are working on different mechanisms, and our ultimate goal is to remove restrictions with their help.
We have had very good experience in cooperating with the Russian Federation in Syria. We were fighting terrorism in the region, in the Syrian Arab Republic through a concerted effort. We can use this positive experience in many other areas.
We have a document on bilateral strategic cooperation, which may determine our future relations for the next 20 years. At any rate, it can explain our prospects. This is why we have given this document to our Russian colleagues. We believe this document will certainly determine the long-term prospects for strategic cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation.
We are not content with our trade and economic ties in the current situation. Of course, we can increase the level of trade and economic cooperation several times over, including investment in trade and in the economy. We are working to raise the level of our cooperation in trade and the economy and to raise investment manifold.
I would like to say I hope that the agreements made by our colleagues during this visit will be developed further. I know that with your positive view of our cooperation you, Your Excellency, can help translate these agreements into reality. On my part, I intend to instruct my colleagues in the Islamic Republic of Iran to focus on developing practical cooperation that should produce the desired results.
Since I have been the head of our Government, I have been monitoring our plan to upgrade our diplomatic ties. Of course, we are working with the Russian Federation and its Foreign Ministry. Our colleagues are cooperating. They welcome this event, and I believe there are no barriers to constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation.
We also cooperate in regional organisations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Union. Our ties are very deep. I think we can deepen them even further and take productive steps to promote our cooperation in this regard.
In think that in these conditions we can launch new cooperation in the economy, politics, culture, science, technology, the defence and military areas, security, and aviation and space, to name a few. We can develop a new level of cooperation in all these areas.
I would like to convey to Your Excellency best regards on behalf of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khamenei. He also lays emphasis on the development and expansion of bilateral ties and the synergy that we can create together.
I am at your service.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
You have a very extensive programme for your stay in Russia, many meetings and speeches. But we are not in any hurry today. We are not in a rush and we will have time to discuss all these issues in comfort. Then we will have lunch and can talk in a more relaxed atmosphere.