Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Russia's Putin meets Iran Supreme Leader's aide in Moscow

The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.

"The relationship between Iran and the Russian Federation is a strategic relationship and in recent years the collective bilaterial and regional relations have expanded", Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Velayati as saying on arrival in Moscow.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior aide to Ayatollah Khamenei, also submitted another message from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the Russian head of state during the meeting on Thursday.

Both the United States and Israel want Iran to pull out from Syria, but Russian Federation has warned it would be unrealistic to expect Iran to fully withdraw from the country.

On his visit to Russia, Velayati said, "The current situation is very sensitive as the world is under the influence of a sinning person under the title of the president of America, therefore, such cooperation becomes more and more necessary, which is why I am being honored to carry the messages of the Supreme Leader and the president".

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Iranian regime envoy Ali Akbar Velayati in Moscow.

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Mr. Putin's reports in the meeting demonstrated that Iran-Russia oil cooperation can be developed to some $50 billion which is a considerable volume, he said, adding that Russia can appropriately replace Western companies which have left Iran due to U.S. sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that Velayati's visit was part of efforts to make Iran's stance clear after the US's pullout from the JCPOA signed between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

But European firms are reluctant to risk far-reaching U.S. financial penalties they would face for doing business in Iran. A day earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Putin that Israel wants Iran to leave Syria.

He added that the cooperation in the region between the resistance front led by Iran and Russian Federation against terrorism and its supporters in Syria and other regional countries was indicative of an exemplary, strategic and long-term partnership between the two countries.

Amir-Abollahian said Netanyahu was likely to ask for Putin's help to push Iran's military advisers out of Syria but added that this was an issue that could only be decided between Tehran and Damascus.

The Iranian presence in Syria is expected to top the agenda of Monday's summit in Helsinki between Putin and US President Donald Trump.

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