Russia’s Foreign Minister heads to Iran for talks

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TEHRAN – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to visit Iran on Wednesday to discuss expanding commercial and energy ties as the two countries deal with Western economic sanctions.

Both Tehran and Moscow have massive oil and gas reserves but are limited in their capacity to export their products due to sanctions.

“Lavrov will meet with our foreign minister (Hossein Amir-Abdollahian) tomorrow (Thursday),” Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

Russia was sanctioned following its invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February, while Iran’s economy has been battered by harsh sanctions reimposed by the US in 2018, following Washington’s exit from a nuclear deal reached between Tehran and key powers.

Russia played a major role in that arrangement, acquiring control of Iran’s excess enriched uranium stores above the limits set by the pact.

It has been involved in stuttering talks between Iran and the powers to resurrect the 2015 agreement with increased US participation.

The talks have been deadlocked since March due to severe disagreements between Tehran and Washington about the US sanctions that would be lifted in exchange for Iran returning to full compliance with the agreed-upon constraints on its nuclear activities.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi visited Moscow in January and stated he submitted draft agreements on strategic cooperation to his counterpart Vladimir Putin that would solidify collaboration for the next two decades.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed global oil and gas prices skyrocketing, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak led a big delegation to Tehran in late May.

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