Iran says ready to extend 20-year cooperation deal with Russia

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday announced Iran’s readiness to extend a 20-year cooperation agreement with Russia, official IRNA news agency reported.

The extension of a 20-year agreement between Iran and Russia is on the agenda of talks between the Iranian delegation and the Russian officials, Zarif told IRNA upon arriving in Moscow on Tuesday for talks on mutual ties as well as the latest regional and international developments.

Iran and Russia have sealed a 20-year comprehensive cooperation agreement which will expire in March 2021.

The Iranian foreign minister described Iran’s relations with Russia as “strategic”, saying the need for regular consultations between Tehran and Moscow is necessary given the speed of regional and international developments.

During his one-day visit to Moscow, Zarif is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as well as other senior officials of the northern neighbor to exchange views on the issues of mutual interest.

Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali said his country is interested in buying new weapons from Russia to enhance its defense capabilities, Tasnim news agency reported Tuesday.

“We will hold consultations with Russia on what we need to enhance our defense capabilities … Russia is our priority partner in this sense,” Jalali was quoted as saying.