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Putin, Iran’s Raisi discuss boosting bilateral cooperation in call — Kremlin

Leaders talk of deepening joint efforts in ‘political, trade and economic’ fields

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 15, 2022. (Alexandr Demyanchuk / SPUTNIK / AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 15, 2022. (Alexandr Demyanchuk / SPUTNIK / AFP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in which the two discussed increasing their cooperation in various fields, the Kremlin said Saturday.

“A number of topical issues on the bilateral agenda were discussed, with the emphasis on further enhancing cooperation in the political, trade and economic fields, including the transport and logistics sector,” Reuters cited Moscow as saying.

There was no word on when exactly the phone call took place.

Iran and Russia have deepened their ties in recent months since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Iran on Wednesday hosted Russia’s security chief Nikolai Patrushev for talks on subjects that the Russian side said included “the fight against terrorism and extremism” as well as measures to counter Western interference.

Kyiv and its Western allies have accused Russia of using hundreds of Iranian-made drones in recent weeks to carry out attacks in Ukraine.

Last Saturday Iran admitted for the first time that it had sent drones to Russia but insisted they were supplied to its ally before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

A photo of a fragment of an Iranian drone shot down in Ukraine that Israel will present to US officials during meetings on October 26, 2022. (President’s office)

Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman warned Tehran that “the consequences of complicity” with Moscow would be “greater than the benefit from Russia’s support.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the country’s army shoots down “at least 10 Iranian drones every day.”

Kyiv claims around 400 Iranian drones have already been used against the civilian population of Ukraine and that Moscow has ordered around 2,000.

Britain and the European Union have imposed sanctions on three Iranian generals and an arms firm accused of supplying Russia with drones.

CNN reported earlier this month that Iran has requested assistance from the Kremlin for its nuclear program in the event that it fails to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers.

Citing US intelligence officials briefed on the matter, the network reported that Iran asked Russia for nuclear material and fuel. These could shorten the time it would take to build a nuclear weapon.

However, it was not clear if Moscow — which opposes the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran — had agreed to aid them in their efforts, according to CNN. Iran’s UN delegation and Russia’s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request by the network for a comment on the report.

Negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have remained stalled for months.

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