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Iran says long-term cooperation pact with Russia to be finalized next month

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Wednesday that the long-term cooperation agreement with Russia will be finalized and signed within a month.

The top diplomat made his remarks at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow following their delegation-level talks.

Amir-Abdollahian said the document of “strategic and long-term cooperation” between the two sides has been reviewed in both capitals and is expected to be finalized and signed “within next month”.

During their first in-person meeting in January 2022, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to bolster bilateral ties as part of the cooperation agreement between the two countries.

The deal, signed in March 2001, was originally designed for 10 years and was subsequently extended for five years twice.

The updated version of the agreement proposes increased cooperation and collaboration between Tehran and Moscow in key areas, including trade, security and transportation.

Amir-Abdollahian said the high-level delegations from the two sides are exchanging opinions on various issues and the presidents are also in contact with each other.

He also expected continued cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in international organizations, most importantly the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) of which Iran is the latest member.

The delegation-level talks, Amir-Abdollahian said, also featured the developments in the Caucasus region, stressing that Iran does not consider the tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the interest of the region and issues must be resolved through the 3+3 mechanism.

The Iranian minister said Tehran and Moscow are trying to bring the views of Türkiye and Syria “closer to each other” in order to facilitate the restoration of full diplomatic ties between them.

The quadrilateral meeting of Iran, Russia, Türkiye and Syria will be held next week at the level of deputy foreign ministers, which may be followed by a ministerial-level meeting, he added.

The top Iranian diplomat arrived in Moscow on Tuesday evening accompanying a high-level delegation. Upon arrival, he said bilateral, regional and international issues will be discussed during the visit, including the stalled talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

He also said that trade volume between the two countries has increased 3.5 times in the past year and a half with tensions soaring between the West and the two countries.

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