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Iran, Russia redoubling efforts to nullify Western sanctions, cement trade ties: Amir-Abdollahian

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Hinting at the Raeisi administration’s dynamic, look-to-the-East foreign policy, the Iranian foreign minister says Iran and Russia are redoubling their joint efforts to nullify US and European sanctions targeting the economies of the two countries.

In an interview with Iran’s Nour News published on Tuesday night, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said there is a strong desire on the part of the private and public sectors in Iran and Russia to cement their trade ties, despite the restrictions created by Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

“High on the agenda are the development of trade cooperation between the two countries, the expansion of long-term cooperation, and the removal of some obstacles, including infrastructural weaknesses, financial and investment resources, as well as efforts to neutralize international sanctions against the two countries,” he said.

The remarks came ahead of Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s Wednesday departure of Tehran for Moscow.

Raeisi is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and address the plenary session of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

According to the Kremlin, Raeisi and Putin will discuss all issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the implementation of joint projects in economic and trade fields, as well as important international and regional developments.

‘Putin’s Russia different from USSR’

Amir-Abdollahian explained that there are a variety of issues over Tehran-Moscow relations that need to be addressed.

“We regard Putin’s Russia as different from the Soviet Union,” he said, noting that the two countries’ strategic view of foreign relations is a foundation to build on.

“Syria has been a successful model of regional cooperation between the two countries in recent years,” he added.

The Iranian foreign minister further noted that Iran’s principled stand is that regional security must be provided only by the region’s countries.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always emphasized its principled policy of strengthening good neighborliness, building trust, and holding dialog with its neighbors and deems lasting security possible only through cooperation, partnership and peace,” he said.

‘Tehran prioritizes neighbors, Asia’

Elsewhere during the interview, Amir-Abdollahian described the Raeisi administration’s foreign policy as balanced, dynamic, and smart.

He named the administration’s three top priorities as “a neighbor-centered policy, an Asia-centered policy with a focus on looking to the East, and an economy-centered diplomacy.”

“Dr. Raeisi’s visit to Russia is a turning point in the policy of good neighborliness and looking to the East,” he added.

According to the chief Iranian diplomat, Tehran has succeeded to resolve issues with neighboring countries such as Turkmenistan and Iraq and is making diplomatic overtures to Persian Gulf countries, including Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, and also Saudi Arabia.

“Finally, I shall point out that initiatives, endeavors, actions, and policies in the field of foreign policy are a process and bear fruit when given enough time. Therefore, the results of these political actions will emerge in the medium- and long-term,” he added.


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