London / Dubai — Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Alihamenei on Tuesday. This is the first Kremlin leader’s trip outside the former Soviet Union since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24th.
In Teheran, Putin held his first face-to-face meeting since the invasion of NATO leader Turkey’s Prime Minister Taipu Erdogan to discuss Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports and an agreement to resume the conflict in northern Syria. ..
Putin’s trip a few days after US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia is strong on the West about Moscow’s plans to build closer strategic relations with Iran, China and India in the face of Western sanctions. send a message.
Hamenei called for long-term cooperation between Iran and Russia and told Putin that he needed to remain vigilant for “Western deception,” Iran’s state television reported.
President Putin has guaranteed Russia “maintaining independence” from the United States and said countries should start using their currencies when trading commodities.
“The US dollar should be gradually removed from world trade, and this can be done gradually,” Hamenei said during the meeting in a modest white room with the Iranian flag and a portrait of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Said in.
Despite the suffering that the general public has endured in the war, Hamenei said that Moscow has few options for Ukraine. “If you weren’t in control, the other side (western side) would have caused the war with its own initiative,” he told Putin.
Washington said Putin’s trip to Tehran showed how Russia was isolated as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s visit is also timely for Iran, as it is fighting with the United States over Tehran’s nuclear program and various other issues under western economic sanctions.
Islamic republican priestly leaders decide to strengthen strategic relations with Russia against the emerging U.S.-backed Gulf Arab-Israeli block, which could further move the Middle East’s balance of power away from Iran. I am enthusiastic.
Encouraged by soaring oil prices since the Ukrainian War, Iran is convinced that Russia’s support could put pressure on Washington to offer concessions to revive nuclear deals with world powers in 2015. is doing.
However, Russia’s growing devotion to Beijing in recent months has significantly reduced Iran’s crude oil exports to China. Since then, Tehran’s main source of income, US President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions in 2018.
In May, Reuters reported Iran’s crude oil exports to China as Beijing supported a significantly reduced Russian barrel, stored about 40 million barrels of Iran’s oil in Asian maritime tankers and sought buyers. Reported a significant decrease.
Prior to Putin’s arrival, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russian gas producer Gazprom signed a memorandum worth about $ 40 billion.
President Ebrahim Raisi of Putin, Erdogan and Iran also threatened Turkey to launch more military operations to expand a “safe zone” at a depth of 30 km (20 miles) along the border. Considered efforts to reduce violence in Syria. Moscow and Tehran oppose such actions by Turkey.
“Maintaining Syria’s territorial integrity is very important, and a military attack in northern Syria will undoubtedly harm Turkey, Syria, and the entire region and benefit terrorists,” Hamenei said. I told Erdogan before the meeting.
Russia and Iran are the strongest supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey supports anti-Assad rebels.
Turkey’s operations in Syria dominate much of northern Syria and are an important part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by the United States, which Washington considers to be an important ally against ISIS terrorists. Attack.
“It is impossible to expect Turkey to remain active and unresponsive, as the terrorist organization continues on the separatist agenda,” Erdogan said, referring to the YPG.
“I’ve heard from my dear friends that I understand Turkey’s legitimate security concerns. I’m grateful for this, but words alone are not a cure for wounds.”
At the end of the talks, Putin said he agreed to continue talks on Syria and promised to continue efforts to “normalize” the situation in Syria after a decade of conflict.
Putin, who turns 70 this year, has rarely traveled abroad in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent crisis in Ukraine. His last trip across the former Soviet Union was a trip to China in February.
Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations will sign an agreement later this week aimed at resuming grain transport across the Black Sea from Ukraine.
“Your mediation has made us move forward,” Putin told Erdogan after the bilateral meeting. “Not all issues have been resolved yet, but the fact that there is a move is already good.”
By Guy Faulconbridge and Parisa Hafezi