Today, Russia and Iran have close ties, which have great potential for further development, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said at a press conference in Moscow today.
"Relations between Tehran and Moscow are developing in different directions. They are progressive. We are confident that our relations will be developing even more actively," he said.
"Yesterday we held useful consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. We deeply concentrated our attention on some of the crises in the Middle East. The main issue we discussed yesterday was how to implement the agreements reached in Vienna and New York for a political settlement of the Syrian issue, as well as the situation in Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine," the Iranian diplomat noted.
The Deputy Minister pointed to the common position of Russia and Iran on a number of issues. "As for the Syrian issue, we have a common position. Tehran and Moscow supported Syria during all negotiations under the auspices of these countries. Iran and Russia will support Syria against threats the country is facing," Abdollahian said.
"We believe that the implementation of the Vienna agreements requires the active participation of other countries. If neighboring countries will no longer allow terrorists to penetrate through their territory, security can be achieved in the near future. It has become difficult to separate the opposition from the terrorists today. Some countries are trying to cloak these terrorists in a new garb and bring them to the negotiating table," the Iranian diplomat complained.
"We support the efforts of de Mistura to set up a political dialogue among Syrians. We are optimistic about the talks in Geneva. But a serious war against terrorism should be waged simultaneously in Syria. We will exert efforts so that Saudi Arabia’s incorrect decision to sever diplomatic relations with Iran does not take on a negative influence on the political settlement of the Syrian issue," Abdollahian assured.
"Terrorists with a new mask should not sit down at a negotiating table – this is the most important condition. We have raised this issue repeatedly at the consultations. The second condition is that negotiators should represent the majority of the Syrian people. We hope that de Mistura will pay serious attention to these two criteria. We believe that Saudi Arabia insists on including terrorists on the lists of opposition groups. This is unacceptable, terrorists should have no place in the Syrian future," the deputy minister stressed.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister also commented on the situation in Yemen. "We believe that it is necessary to stop attacks on the oppressed people of Yemen. We will continue our efforts to encourage the parties to hold negotiations. The humanitarian issue is a priority. It is necessary to break the humanitarian blockade," he said.
Referring to the situation in the Persian Gulf, the diplomat said that Iran stands for easing tensions in the region. "We urge Saudi Arabia to stop its provocative actions. As for our relations, yesterday we thoroughly discussed them with Bogdanov. Our message to our friends in the Gulf is for friendship and neighborly relations. Relations with the Gulf countries are our main priority. We believe that after the lifting of sanctions there will be new opportunities for comprehensive trade cooperation with our neighbors and all the countries of the Persian Gulf," Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister expressed hope.
Hossein Abdollahian said that he also discussed the situation on the world oil markets with Mikhail Bogdanov. "We paid attention to the political side of the process," he said.
The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister also mentioned the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh, stressing his country's interest in a speedy settlement of the conflict. "You know, I said that we want peace and friendship in the region. Any statement from the Iranian side is about strengthening these things," Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed.