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Iran good neighbour, reliable partner: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in the Kremlin on Tuesday and described Iran as a “good neighbour and a reliable partner.”

“Russia and Iran share many years, if not centuries, of bilateral cooperation,” Putin said as he welcomed the Iranian leader.

“We have maintained diplomatic relations for more than 500 years,” he added.

Putin said that Moscow and Tehran have closely worked together in all fields and resolved difficult economic problems of the world, reported Efe news.

Rouhani said that he hoped that the new round of talks will lead to new strides in broadening relations between the two countries and and Iran’s close cooperation with Moscow was not intended to be an aggressive stance directed against other countries.

“Our ultimate goal is to strengthen peace and stability in the region,” said the head of Iran’s government. “The development of our relations is not directed against third countries.”

The two sides also signed at least 15 documents on various fields such as consulate, tourism, economic, telecommunications, legal and judiciary at the Kremlin Palace, IRNA news agency reported.

“We have good experience in the fight against terrorism, international terrorism, the fight against the drug threat,” said Rouhani.

Rouhani had earlier laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier by the Kremlin wall.

“Russia and Iran were allied in the ongoing war in Syria — both backing the embattled President Bashar al-Assad — and commercial exchanges between the nations had increased by 70 per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year,” Putin said.

This high-profile meeting between two regional powers came at a time when Tehran’s relations with the United States had soured since the election of President Donald Trump, according to reports.

Moscow came out in defence of Iran’s recent testing of ballistic missiles, but those actions were slammed by Washington, which responded with economic sanctions.

Iran and Russia insisted that the tests did not breach the internationally agreed Iranian nuclear deal that, under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, had eased sanctions on Tehran in return for a gradual dismantling of its nuclear programme.

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