Russia's Lavrov in Iran to discuss co-operation and nuclear deal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on June 22, 2022. Iranian presidency / AFP
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called for co-operation among countries facing western sanctions during a visit to Iran.

Mr Lavrov held a meeting with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi after arriving in Tehran on Wednesday and held talks with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Thursday.

Besides increasing bilateral and energy co-operation, Mr Lavrov is expected to discuss Iran's 2015 nuclear deal and international and regional issues.

Russia's foreign ministry posted a clip of Mr Lavrov's opening remarks in his meeting with Mr Raisi, in which he said Moscow was adapting to what he called the West's aggressive policies.

"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," Mr Lavrov said.

Iranian state TV showed Mr Lavrov meeting Mr Raisi, but gave no details.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Mr Lavrov's visit was aimed at "expanding co-operation with the Eurasian region and the Caucasus".

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.

While Moscow is challenging Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, Tehran's rulers have been struggling to keep Iran's economy afloat. This is due to US sanctions that were reimposed after Washington exited the nuclear deal in 2018.

Mr Lavrov's visit comes as world powers and Tehran are struggling to revive the pact, which Tehran blames for its economic difficulties.

Iranian opposition and human rights activists say poor governing and the use of the country's limited resources to support proxies in the region are also to blame for deteriorating living conditions.

Indirect talks between Tehran and US President Joe Biden's administration to reinstate the pact have been on hold since March, with both sides trading blame for the stalemate.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said the US was partly responsible for the war in Ukraine.

"In regards to Ukraine, we believe that American actions done through Nato are part of the crisis' causes. However, the Islamic Republic does not see war as a solution and welcomes political talks on this issue," Mr Amirabdollahian told a press conference in Tehran with Mr Lavrov on Thursday.

Updated: June 23, 2022, 12:37 PM