Russian and Iranian leaders met in Tehran this week aimed at developing closer ties.
Iran and Russia are both under sanctions from the West and the meeting was aimed at “expanding cooperation with the Eurasian region and the Caucasus,” according to the Iranian foreign ministry.
Moscow fully supports the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday after talks in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart.
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) June 22, 2022
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.
The meeting coincided with the test completion of a new trade route between Russia and India via Iran. The International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC), has been planned for around 20 years, but the timing couldn’t be more apparent as Russia looks for alternative routes amid sanctions and demonstrates the importance of their relations with Iran.
The new route will provide an alternative to the traditional routes carried out by sea through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, and the Baltic Sea. It should reduce journey times between Mumbai and Moscow from forty to fourteen days.
Russian cargo departed last week from St. Petersburg for the Caspian Sea port city of Astrakhan, the Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Repeating Iran’s stance at a joint news conference with Lavrov, Hossein Amirabdollahian said all sanctions against Iran should be removed to revive the pact and blamed Washington for stalling talks that started over a year ago.
“We are pursuing the full re-establishment of the deal with no concession on our position,” Amirabdollahian said, adding he hoped to keep negotiations on track and invited the United States to be pragmatic and help the talks enter a final phase.
Indirect talks between Tehran and US 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 US list of designated terrorist organizations.