The presidents of Iran and Russia in a meeting in China highlighted the need to maintain and promote economic relations between the two countries and to keep military cooperation for regional security.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in China’s Qingdao on Saturday.
Hailing the growing ties between Tehran and Moscow in the fields of energy swap, defense industry and transportation, Rouhani said Iran welcomes investment by Russian companies and private sector.
Voicing Iran’s support for stronger economic interaction with the Eurasian Economic Union under a free trade agreement, the Iranian president noted that Russia’s involvement in the North-South railroad corridor would open up perfect opportunities for economic cooperation with the East.
He further emphasized the impact of Iran-Russia defense coordination on regional security, adding, “The cooperation between Iran and Russia in the war against Daesh (ISIL) and other terrorist groups in the region has been effectual, and such cooperation will continue.”
The Iranian president also touched on the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), praising “Russia’s significant role” in the continued implementation of the nuclear deal after the US’s “unilateral and unlawful exit” from it.
For his part, Vladimir Putin underlined that Russia will keep working with Iran in the economic arena, energy swap and defense programs, hailing the “good prospect” for economic cooperation between the two sides.
Expressing Moscow’s support for Iran’s permanent membership of the Eurasian Economic Union and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Putin said Iran has been well involved in the SCO issues as an observer state for years.
Denouncing the US administration’s illegal move to walk away from the JCPOA, the Russian president reaffirmed his country’s commitment to negotiating with the other parties to support the nuclear accord.
He also highlighted Iran-Russia interaction on regional stability, stressing that such regional cooperation will go on, as for the settlement of the crisis in Syria.
Iran’s president arrived in Qingdao on Friday at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to attend the annual SCO summit.
Accompanied by a high-profile delegation, Rouhani is planned to meet several top foreign officials on the sidelines of the event.
The SCO was established in Shanghai in 2001, with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members.