Russia, EU congratulate Iran’s Rouhani on re-election
search

Russia, EU congratulate Iran’s Rouhani on re-election

Putin urges deepening of Moscow-Tehran relations, hails regional cooperation; Mogherini says victory will help nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his ballot for the presidential elections at a polling station in Tehran on May 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani casts his ballot for the presidential elections at a polling station in Tehran on May 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Behrouz Mehri)

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on his re-election Saturday, calling for deeper ties between Moscow and Tehran.

In a telegram to Rouhani, Putin “confirmed the readiness to continue active joint work to further develop the Russian-Iranian cooperation partnership,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin also expressed confidence that Moscow and Tehran will continue to work in the spirit of “maintaining stability and security in the Middle East and the world as a whole” and that agreements reached during Rouhani’s visit to Russia in March will be successfully implemented.

The meeting in March between Putin and Rouhani, who have grown closer through their mutual support of Syrian president Bashar Assad, mostly focused on the countries’ flourishing economic ties in the fields of energy and industry.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 28, 2017. (Sergei Karpukhin/AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 28, 2017. (Sergei Karpukhin/AFP)

Iran and Russia have become increasingly allied in Syria, helping Assad’s forces gain ground in recent months, including in the Syrian army’s major offensive last year to retake rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

In addition to cooperation on Syria, energy and defense ties have deepened between Iran and Russia in recent years.

An Iranian military truck carries parts of the S-300 air defense missile system during a parade on the occasion of the country's Army Day, on April 18, 2017, in Tehran. (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare)
An Iranian military truck carries parts of the S-300 air defense missile system during a parade on the occasion of the country’s Army Day, on April 18, 2017, in Tehran. (AFP Photo/Atta Kenare)

Russia is to build nine of Iran’s 20 proposed nuclear reactors and has emerged as a long-term arms partner, supplying Tehran with its S-300 air defense missile system.

The relationship has blossomed under Rouhani despite the countries having a complicated history over territory, oil and Communist ideology.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini also lauded Rouhani on his resounding re-election victory on Saturday and pledged the bloc would maintain work to implement the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Iranians passionately took part (in) the political life of their country. I congratulate President Rouhani for [the] strong mandate received,” Mogherini said on her twitter account.

“The EU is ready to continue work for full JCPOA (nuclear deal) implementation, bilateral engagement, regional peace, and meet expectations of all people in Iran,” she added.

The European Union and other top world powers reached agreement with Iran in 2015 on curbing its nuclear program and they began easing economic sanctions in January 2016.

Brussels billed the agreement as clearing the way towards improved relations with Iran but progress has been slow and tensions have risen over Tehran’s continued support for the ruling Assad regime in Syria who the EU believes must step down.

Rouhani, a 68-year-old relatively moderate cleric who spearheaded a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, won 57 percent of the vote, according to Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.

read more:
comments