Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Russia's Putin meets Iran Supreme Leader's aide in Moscow

Russia's Putin meets Iran Supreme Leader's aide in Moscow

Velayati was speaking at a forum in Moscow. The United States pulled out of a multinational deal in May to lift sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.

Velayati arrived for his meeting with Putin carrying two personal messages for the Russian president, one from Khamenei and the other from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

"In foreign policy, relations between two countries are considered strategic when both sides consider them as strategic and deal with each other on this basis", AbuTalbi said. Washington says it will reimpose sanctions and has told other countries to halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face U.S. financial measures.

Moscow has teamed up with Tehran to shore up Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, but their interests do not always converge.

Iran has also made moves to align closer with China, with Velayati expected to visit Beijing in the near future, Reuters reports. Velayati was Iran's foreign minister at the time of the AMIA atrocity on July 18, 1994, when 85 people died and hundreds more were wounded after a truck packed with explosives drove into the Jewish organization's main building in the Argentine capital.

A US State Department official said this month that Washington's goal was to get as many countries as possible down to zero Iranian oil imports.

Velayati also said Iran and Russian Federation would "continue to cooperate in Syria", where both countries support President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the seven-year civil war there.

Facing revived sanctions from the United States and the possible knock-on collapse of its business dealings with Europe, Iran is looking to Russian Federation and China for investment and to purchase its oil.

According to The New Yorker, Israel has joined forces with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and suggested to Trump that the USA should offer to cancel the sanctions it imposed on Russia four years ago, following Russia's annexation of the Crimea, in exchange for Russian action to remove Iranian forces from Syria.

While Israel has warned Syria against its relationship with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he "had no problem with the Assad regime" as long as the Syrian leader held up his end of the 1974 agreement.

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