Iran, Russia to boost bilateral ties



"I think the wide spectrum of cooperation between Iran and Russia is well-defined and we have good arenas for cooperation based on common threats and interests," Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili said on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

Jalili made the remark after a second round of talks with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

Patrushev arrived in Tehran on Monday for a two-day visit upon an invitation from Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili.

In their first meeting on Monday, Jalili and Patrushev discussed ways to improve Tehran-Moscow relations in all areas.

The two officials also talked about regional and international developments as well as Moscow's "step-by-step" proposal on Iran's nuclear program.

During their Tuesday meeting, Jalili and Patrushev discussed economic ties, energy and nuclear cooperation, a joint front against terrorism and drug trafficking and the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.

They also called for direct interaction between Iran and Russia to boost regional security.

Jalili hailed the Russian proposal and said that the "negotiations-for-cooperation" approach could be a good strategy, reiterating that the Islamic Republic's approach was also based on dialogue.

"Proposals of our Russian friends can prepare the ground to start negotiations for regional and international cooperation especially in the field of peaceful nuclear activities,” Jalili noted.

On July 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed a new "step-by-step" approach toward Iran's nuclear program that would enable the Islamic Republic to take steps to address questions raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Under the proposed plan, Iran would revive negotiations to alleviate individual concerns of the IAEA about its nuclear activities and be rewarded along the way by the partial removal of sanctions.

The approach would start out with the easiest questions and move on to more complicated ones that would require a longer time for a response, according to Lavrov.

Iran says that according to the modality plan agreed by the Islamic Republic and the IAEA in 2007, the agency should close Iran's nuclear case since Tehran has addressed and resolved all issues of concern.

MRS/HJL

Photo to the left features clean and modern Iranian subway.


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