Iranian capital hosts tripartite summit

Iranian capital hosts tripartite summit

The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, on Wednesday took part in the summit with their Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan held the summit in Tehran for talks on trilateral and regional issues, with presidents of the three countries in attendance.

During the event, the three leaders discussed mutual cooperation, especially in the fields of transit and energy, 

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier said that “after the first meeting of the presidents in Baku, it will be a good opportunity to boost cooperation.” 

Rouhani, Putin and Aliyev held their first tripartite summit in August 2016 in Azerbaijan’s capital, where they exchanged views on environmental issues and the fight against terrorism as well as ways of enhancing cooperation in the areas of commerce, energy, communications, transport and transit.

They further vowed to work together to prepare the grounds for the construction of the International North-South Transit Corridor (NSTC) which is expected to provide a faster and more efficient trade connectivity between Europe and Southeast Asia. 

The Russian president has reportedly discussed issues such as the Syria crisis as well as energy cooperation with President Rouhani and Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei during his visit to Tehran.

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei  hailed Iran-Russia cooperation in the fight against Takfiri terrorists in Syria, saying the defeat of the US-led coalition in the Arab country is "an undeniable reality."

“The defeat of US-led coalition supporting terrorists in Syria is an undeniable reality, but they keep hatching plots,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Wednesday.

During the meeting, which last over an hour, the Leader stressed the solution of the Syria crisis requires continued cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.

Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran-Russia cooperation in battling Takfiri terrorists backed by certain countries has had important outcomes, making Russia an "influential" player in the developments of West Asia. 

The Leader noted that the Syrian people are the ultimate decision-makers regarding their country’s issues.

He noted that all issues pertaining to the Damascus government should be solved based on intra-Syrian efforts, and the Syrian government should not be "pressured" into implementing "any plans," which he said need to be as "comprehensive" as possible.

On the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Leader pointed to the Russian president’s emphasis on the need for compliance with any multilateral agreement and criticized the US for adopting a “rebellious” approach in this regard.

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for regional countries to resolve their issues without any foreign interference, saying “Americans seek to interfere in all issues of the region and the world.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader pointed to Saudi’s crimes committed on a daily basis in Yemen and warned that the war could result in Riyadh getting entangled in other deeper crises.

Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran and Russia could neutralize the US sanctions imposed on their countries by ditching dollar in bilateral and multilateral trade and using their national currencies instead. The Leader said Iran and Russia should further develop cooperation particularly in economy, saying the economic capacities of the two countries are well beyond the current level.

The Russian president, for his part, described Iran as "a strategic partner" and a "great neighbor," stressing that he would welcome any potential to fully bolster and expand bilateral relations.

Putin said Iran and Russia could boost their ties in the sectors of energy, modern technology, agriculture as well as joint oil and gas projects.     

Broaching the war in Syria, Putin hailed the achievements of the Iran-Russia cooperation in the war against terrorism, calling for "a suitable political process to be considered in the Arab country."

Lauding the Leader's stance on achieving shared objectives in Syria as wise and very effective, the Russian president said, "We proved to the world that we are able to resolve our region's highly important issues without [any help from] extra-regional countries."

"We oppose any unilateral change in the multilateral nuclear deal," Putin said.

He also said that Russia was also against linking Iran's nuclear program with other issues including defensive issues.

Separately on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei met Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, during which he warned against bids by certain sides to hurt relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and called for further promotion of cooperation in different sectors.

Aliyev, for his part, strongly supported his country’s relations with Iran and said Azerbaijan would not allow any third party to harm its ties with Iran.  

He said that Azerbaijan was keen to improve cooperation with Iran in different sectors, including culture, energy and transportation.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has underlined Russia’s role in safeguarding the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Russia plays a significant and instrumental role in reinforcing and safeguarding the JCPOA and [ensuring] the implementation of the deal by all sides,” Rouhani said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran on Wednesday.

He highlighted the JCPOA as a multilateral agreement, saying protecting the deal would contribute to peace and stability in the region and across the world.

Touching on the issue of terrorism, Rouhani said cooperation between Tehran and Moscow has made a considerable contribution to the anti-terror campaign in the region, and underlined the need for keeping consultations and cooperation in the final stages of battling terrorism.

Rouhani said that cooperation between Tehran and Moscow was key to settling tensions, including the crisis in Syria.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deems instability to be detrimental to all countries, and supports promotion of stability and security in the region.

Cooperation between Iran and Russia has been proven to consolidate peace and security in Syria, he said.

Describing Russia “as a strategic partner, friend and neighbor,” Rouhani also called for further expansion of economic and trade ties with Moscow, adding that Tehran welcomed investment of Russia’s private sectors in projects aimed at developing Iran’s infrastructure, including in the energy, industries and transportation sectors.

Putin, for his part, said Iran and Russia maintained good cooperation in the fields of energy, economy, peaceful nuclear energy and transportation.

The Russian president said that Russian companies were keen to join development projects and that Moscow saw no limit to the expansion of relations with Tehran.

He also described the JCPOA as a good agreement that helps global peace and stability, and described "some countries'" refusal to remain committed to the terms of the nuclear agreement as "unacceptable".

"Unilateral dismantling of the JCPOA under any pretext is not acceptable," Putin added.

The Russian president also said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was the only body entrusted with verifying Iran’s commitment to the deal.

He also underlined the need for Iran, Russia and Turkey to continue cooperation on Syria within the framework of the Astana talks aimed at ending the crisis in the Arab country.


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