Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Iran, Russia eye further expansion of trade, energy ties

Russian deputy prime minister says trade between Tehran and Moscow boosted by 81 percent last year and added the two sides need to further increase their ties to withstand the geopolitical changes.

Leading a high-level delegation to Iran, Alexander Novak said in a joint economic and energy forum on Wednesday that Russia was in a higher demand of Iranian goods and that deepening monetary ties between the two countries could lead to expansion of trade ties.

“Today, many unfriendly countries are putting Russia under pressure, which increases the need to boost cooperation between the two countries,” Novak said.

Western countries have slapped unprecedented sanctions on Russia since President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation against Ukraine on February 24. Iran is also under similar set of American sanctions since 2018 when then U.S. president Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The Russian deputy prime minister said Moscow is reviewing its bureaucratic procedures to reduce hurdles to increase imports from friendly countries, including Iran.

The Russian official also said conditions are ripe to boost strategic cooperation in developing Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant as part of efforts to promote bilateral strategic cooperation in the fields of energy and nuclear technology.

Novak, meanwhile, said the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and Iran’s strategic position is of high significance for Russia, as it can provide access to the Persian Gulf littoral states.

Iran, together with India and Russia, is pushing forward with the sea and rail corridor that could substantially reduce the time and cost of shipping goods from India to Europe.

Russia’s Ambassador to Tehran, Levan Dzhagaryan, who was among the participants in the forum, expressed hope about the future of bilateral trade ties, saying, “During the past eleven years, from the 10th to 13th administration, that I’ve been the Russian ambassador to Iran, I’m confident that the new ties can benefit both countries.”

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