Ali Akbar Velayati: Iran and Russia need each other as never before

Ali Akbar Velayati: Iran and Russia need each other as never before

The adviser to the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Akbar Velayati, has stated at a final press conference, summing up his visit to the Russian Federation, that ''today Iran and Russia need each other as never before,'' a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reports.

Opening the press conference, the Iranian Ambassador to Russia, Mehdi Sanai, said that the major changes taking place today in the region are leading to a special period of bilateral relations between Russia and Iran. "Two years ago the Presidents stressed the beginning of a new stage in our relations. Significant agreements were achieved in many areas of our contacts and relevant structures were organized in 2015. At the end of last year President Vladimir Putin visited Iran and met with the spiritual leader. It was a turning point in our relations,'' the ambassador said.

Velayati drew attention to the character of the neighborly relations between the two countries, which have deep historical roots, and expressed confidence that after the collapse of the bipolar world "relations between Iran and the Russian Federation may become decisive".

"Our countries have their own interests and the mutual interests are becoming increasingly important from day to day. The rate of change requires us to meet more often. Indeed, President Putin's visit to Iran last year was essential. He not only strengthened our bilateral relations, but also made them more strategic. Today our tasks are not only bilateral, but also regional, and they require our strategic relations," he said.

"A good example is our co-operation in Syria, it is unprecedented in modern history. The balance of military, defense and political powers is gradually shifting in favor of Iran, the Russian Federation, Syria, Iraq. In general, Rouhani and Putin are determined to continue cooperation in Syria. The other change is full Iranian membership of the SCO. The Chinese President was in Iran, and he noted that China supports this step. Putin also said that Russia supports our full membership and we see very clear prospects in such a constructive and friendly organization as the SCO where we will be able to show our resistance to the US policy and NATO,'' Ali Akbar Velayati said.

Velayati said that cooperation between Iran and Russia will help to make the Middle East region a different place. "Chaos will disappear and the peoples and countries of the region will have a hopeful future," he explained.

The adviser to the Iranian supreme leader called for the abolition of the visa regime between the two countries, as the level of strategic relations require this. "The agreement on facilitating the entry of our citizens is to come into force, the issue of the abolition of tourist visas is being considered. We hope that commercial visas will be cancelled and I will contribute to that as far as possible," Ali Akbar Velayati concluded.

Answering the question of a VK correspondent about cooperation between Russia and Iran in the South Caucasus and, in particular, in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Iranian politician said that the region is equally sensitive for both countries. "Iran and Russia cannot be indifferent to the interference of foreign states in the Caucasus. We have always supported the peoples of the Caucasus, which was aimed at the preservation of their territorial integrity. Certainly, both the Americans and their Western allies are looking for a reason to sow discord in the region. Therefore, we must be vigilant. It will be in favor of the common interests of Iran, Russia and our people," the adviser to Iran's supreme leader urged.