As Western powers and Tehran struggle to resurrect their 2015 nuclear agreement and negotiations deadlock, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov landed in Iran on Wednesday, according to Iranian state TV. Lavrov claimed Moscow was adjusting to what he called the West’s aggressive actions in a videotape of his opening remarks during a meeting with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi that the Russian foreign ministry posted.
While Moscow is challenging Western sanctions over Ukraine, Tehran’s clerical rulers have been struggling to keep Iran’s economy afloat because of U.S. sanctions that were reimposed after Washington exited Tehran’s nuclear deal in 2018. “During Lavrov’s visit, Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, boosting bilateral and energy cooperation, as well as international and regional issues will be discussed,” Iranian state media reported.
“In all the countries experiencing the negative influence of the selfish line taken by the United States and its satellites, there arises the objective need to reconfigure their economic relations so they can avoid relying on the whims and vagaries of our Western partners,” Lavrov said. Last month Moscow said Russia and Iran, which are both under Western sanctions and sit on some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, had discussed swapping supplies for oil and gas as well as establishing a logistics hub.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA said Lavrov would meet his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, on Thursday.
Iranian State TV showed Lavrov meeting Raisi, but gave no details. The Iranian foreign ministry said on Monday that Lavrov’s visit was aimed at “expanding cooperation with the Eurasian region and the Caucasus”. Indirect talks between Tehran and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to reinstate the pact have been on hold since March, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the U.S. list of designated terrorist organisations.
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