Russia's Putin arrives in Iran

Nov 02, 2017, 00:15

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the global community to rally in support of the Iranian nuclear accord after talks with leaders of the Islamic Republic, following President Donald Trump's move away from the multinational pact.

Russian President Putin on Wednesday described Iran as "a strategic partner" and a "great neighbor", stressing that Russia welcomes expansion of bilateral relations.

The Russian commander, for his part, voiced satisfaction over the current level of defense and military cooperation between Iran and Russia.

"Our cooperation has helped the fight against terrorism in the region".

Late on Wednesday, Tehran hosted a summit attended by Iranian, Russian and Azerbaijan's presidents, which focused on boosting trade between the three sides, particularly the International North-South Transport Corridor project.

The rapprochement between Iran and Russian Federation is worrying for both Saudi Arabia, Shi'ite Muslim Tehran's main Sunni rival for dominance in the Middle East, and the United States.

"In our relations with Iran, we are absolutely resolute and will not allow anyone to interfere in the relations between the two countries and disrupt them", underlined Aliyev.

In the meeting, Rouhani praised Russia's role in protecting the 2015 nuclear deal, which faces the fierce opposition of US President Donald Trump.

Trump has called the agreement "the worst deal ever negotiated" and branded Iran a "terrorist nation" for involvement in conflicts in the Middle East. "But the issues of economic nature are at the forefront, of course", Putin said.

Putin will also have a meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"So far, good agreements have reached between Iran and Russian Federation in the areas of energy, peaceful nuclear technology, and transportation, but more efforts are needed to put these agreements into practice in the course of growing ties", he added. These were lifted under the 2015 accord in return for Tehran curbing nuclear activity of potential use in developing an atomic bomb. The host nation believes this will show that USA approval is not needed for regional cooperation.

Putin was in Tehran to take part in the second three-way summit with Rouhani and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.