Iranian hard-line president to visit Russia “early” next year

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Russia after receiving an invitation from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, an Iranian government spokesperson said on December 28.

Putin invited Raisi to Moscow early next year “as part of a strategic interaction between Iran and Russia,” Ali Bahadori Jahromi said.

The visit will focus on “bilateral, regional and national cooperation” and in particular “economic and trade” cooperation, Bahadori Jahromi said.

The last Iranian president to visit Russia was the moderate Hassan Rouhani in March 2017.

Raisi, a die-hard conservative, took over from Rouhani in August.

According to the Kremlin website, the invitation was issued by Putin earlier this month at a joint press conference with visiting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Russia and Iran enjoy good relations and are key allies of President Bashar al-Assad in the ten-year civil war in Syria.

Russia is also one of the parties to the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers under which Tehran obtained sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

Moscow participated in ongoing negotiations in Vienna to revive the deal after then-US President Donald Trump stepped down in 2018 and began reimposing sanctions, prompting Iran to cancel some of its commitments.

According to AFP and Reuters reports

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