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Iran hopes to finalize 20-year pact with Russia as Bagheri Kani meets Lavrov

TEHRAN — Iran’s ambassador to Moscow, Kazem Jalali, said on Tuesday his country is working hard to finalize a long-term partnership deal with Russia by the end of 2024, as Moscow and Tehran grow closer in the aftermath of the Ukraine war and the Western sanctions imposed on both. 

Jalali, according to an interview published by the official IRNA news agency, said that different Iranian authorities were reviewing the draft agreement before it was to be ultimately signed. The envoy was responding to questions in Iran regarding Russian media reports that the agreement was hanging in the balance due to delays in Tehran. He said the original Russian reports had not used the word “suspension” and instead accused Iranian outlets of “hastily mistranslating and reporting fake news.” 

Earlier that the same day, Russia’s state news agency, Ria Novosti, cited senior Foreign Ministry official Zamir Kabulov as saying that “the process of work on the agreement has been suspended due to problems with Iranian partners.” Kabulov had added, however, that “the work will be completed.”

An agreement in principle on the 20-year comprehensive partnership was originally made in early 2022 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his then Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian last month. 


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