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Focus of Rouhani-Putin Meeting: Syria, ‘Strategic’ Ties | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani takes questions from journalists during a news conference in New York September, Reuters

London- Russian President Vladimir Putin is to host his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani who stated in a news conference, before departing from Mehrabad International Airport to Moscow, that developing ties in diverse fields will serve the interests of both countries.

Iranian president also asserted that the Syrian crisis and other regional files will be discussed during the two-day consultations with Russian officials.

Rouhani, accompanied by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other high-ranking officials, met Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

He pointed out that his visit was a positive step that would enhance Russian-Iranian relations following eight previous meetings with Putin, during which they tackled regional and international relations.

The Iranian president tried to deliver messages to countries of the region saying that they would be “the biggest winners as Russian-Iranian ties develop”, and that these relations would “cause no harm to any third country.”

Iranians mark reaching a “strategic” phase in relations with Russia as highly important since this protects them from potential surprises during Donald Trump’s presidency and from Russian “abandonment” in the Security Council.

Iranian analysts see that there is a trust issue that dates back to 200 years ago and is hindering any development in ties between Tehran and Moscow. However, those who support enhancing Iranian-Russian relations find that matters can’t be resolved overnight but gradual steps are recommended.

Besides, the Iranian government considers Moscow a guarantor of the resumption of the nuclear agreement through protecting it from the new US administration decisions.

Iran has rising concerns of a potential US-Russian agreement on regional files by which Iran bears the greatest losses, namely in the Syrian matter. These fears were represented by Tehran announcing its wish to ink a deal with Russia via getting USD10 billion worth of arms following Trump’s victory in the United States.

Rouhani, in his visit to Moscow, is primarily concerned with consolidating political partnership and launching a strategic one via providing economic privileges.