Extension of 20-Year Deal with Russia on Iran’s Agenda: Zarif

Extension of 20-Year Deal with Russia on Iran’s Agenda

Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif has confirmed that Tehran is willing to extend a 20-year cooperation agreement with Russia as the deal is going to expire next March.

Asked by reporters upon his arrival in Moscow on Tuesday about any plans to extend a cooperation agreement with Russia as March 2021 will mark the 20th anniversary of the deal between the two countries, Foreign Minister Zarif said, “Extension of the contract is on our agenda.”

“If the Russian friends are ready for another long-term contract, it could be discussed,” he noted.

“But the extension of the contract (with Russia) is definitely on our agenda,” Zarif added.

The top Iranian diplomat also said he has visited Moscow following the recent talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

“The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are strategic,” he stressed, noting, “In the current circumstances when major developments are taking place at the international level, it is necessary to hold such negotiations constantly between us and the Russian government, and also the other friends of ours, like the Chinese government.”

Foreign Minister Zarif finally noted that his trip would include talks on Tehran-Moscow bilateral relations, the regional issues, and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, Zarif has travelled to Moscow for talks with the Russian officials, including his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

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