President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Rouhani, dear colleagues,
Let me wish you a warm welcome to Moscow. I remember our meeting in November 2003 here, in the Kremlin. We had a very detailed talk. And it is very pleasing for me to note that relations between Russia and Iran are developing consistently in almost all directions.
Iran is our long-standing partner. In 2003 our volume of trade turnover doubled, and grew by another third in 2004. We have many joint interests as Caspian nations. And although dialogue is not easy between all Caspian nations, I know for a fact that everyone has the desire to find a compromise in this region.
I remember the invitation of the Iranian leadership to visit your country. We are preparing for this visit. We will agree on the dates separately, but I think that we will talk about this issue again today.
We have many interesting projects in the sphere of the economy and in the security sphere, above all in the Caspian region, of course. In connection with this, we support several of Iran’s initiatives, and I hope that we will also talk about this in more detail today. We hope to be met with a similar position in our initiatives.
I would ask you to pass on my very best wishes to the Iranian leadership. It is very pleasing for us that relations between us are developing well at practically all levels, and that dialogue is continual. I hope, of course, to discuss with you issues concerning the so-called nuclear problem, and to discuss the situation in the region. In general, we have a very large agenda, and we are glad to see you.
Hassan Rouhani: Thank you very much, Mr President,
I am very happy about today’s meeting which allows us to exchange opinions. I thank you for your very hospitable reception, and I am glad to pass on warm wishes and greetings from our leadership.
The development and deepening of our relations in the area of bilateral ties, regional issues, and also issues of the international agenda are priority areas of Iran’s foreign policy. In the current international situation, and also given the complex regional situation, we have no doubt that developing relations matches the interests of the two parties, and will be a factor for strengthening stability in the region.
We attach great importance to your visit. Undoubtedly, it will provide additional stimulus for the development of our relations. Mr Khatami hopes to welcome you soon in Tehran.
At our last meeting held last year, we discussed a large list of issues of our cooperation in various areas. I am glad to inform you today that over the last year, significant progress has been reached in all these areas. In the Iranian Supreme Council of national security, we are keeping track of the progress of these joint projects, and I hope to present you with a report today on the development of the situation in these issues.
Since last year, major steps have been taken on our part in the nuclear sphere. Last year, when we were in Moscow, many people in the world had doubts about the nature of our activity in the nuclear sphere. But today no one doubts that our activity in the nuclear sphere is of an exclusively peaceful nature. This was stated by representatives of the International agency for nuclear energy, and also by the Board of Governors, and recorded in the last resolution of the Board. Along with the talks that we are holding with the European Group of Three, we also attach great importance to the role that Russia can play. We believe that Russia’s role may be very beneficial to advance these talks.
Very important problems lie before us in connection with the situation in the region. And I would like to discuss individual aspects of this situation once more
Where our two countries have worked together, this has only helped security and stability in the region. This is shown by our cooperation in Afghanistan, in Central Asia, in Transcaucasia, and in the Caspian region. Our cooperation in all these regions has helped to strengthen stability. Naturally, today we are encountering new problems in the region, but we have no doubt that consultations between Moscow and Tehran will help to overcome these problems.
Mr Putin: I completely agree with your assessment. You know our position on the nuclear problem. We are firmly convinced that proliferation of nuclear weapons will not help security, and will not strengthen security either in the region or in the world in general. The recent actions by Iran have convinced us that Iran truly does not intend to manufacture nuclear weapons, and this means that we will continue cooperation in all spheres, including in the sphere of nuclear energy.
We hope, of course, dear Mr Rouhani, that Iran will strictly adhere to all the obligations it has taken on bilaterally – with Russia – and internationally. We will continue cooperation with Iran in all spheres, including the military and technical sphere. And I agree with you that our joint work in a number of regions in the world – you have listed them: the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Central Asia – will have a positive result. These joint actions can only be assessed in a positive light, and we count on this joint work in future.