Russia, Iran to create cooperation mechanisms independent from West: Lavrov

2 countries working on integration of payment systems to facilitate financial transactions.

Russia, Iran to create cooperation mechanisms independent from West: Lavrov

Russia and Iran are concentrating on creating mechanisms that will allow them to develop cooperation regardless of the diktats of the West, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday.

The leaders of the two countries defined concrete areas where the governments should make efforts to achieve the goals, Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

"Our Western colleagues, in an effort to establish their complete dominance in the world, purposefully and consistently destroy the entire structure of international relations.

"Meanwhile, we are concentrating together with our friends, including, of course, the Islamic Republic of Iran, on creating reliable, constructive mechanisms that will allow us to develop mutually beneficial cooperation regardless of any diktat," he said.

Lavrov said Moscow and Tehran are working on an “interstate agreement” which will “be of strategic importance” that “will set out the basic guidelines for further building up the entire range of Russian-Iranian ties in the coming decades."

He noted that despite sanctions, trade turnover between the two countries grew by more than 40% in the first half of this year and surpassed $2.7 billion.

Russia also supports Iran's accession as a permanent member to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and a memorandum of Iran's obligations to the organization will be signed at the SCO summit in September in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, he said.

Moscow and Tehran are also working on connecting Russia’s Mir and Iran’s Shetab payment systems to facilitate financial transactions between the two countries, Lavrov added.

"Substantive negotiations are underway at the level of central banks. They had a meeting in July and agreed on a roadmap that will lead us to this result," he said.

Lavrov also expressed support to Iran regarding the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, saying Russia will align its position on this issue in accordance with Iran.For his part, Amir-Abdollahian said he handed Lavrov "a message from one of the European leaders" on the situation around Ukraine.

This unnamed leader, who is most likely Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, originally asked Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to pass it on to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Amir-Abdollahian noted.

"There were ideas (in the message) about the support of peace and tranquility as well as the cessation of hostilities in Ukraine. We discussed these ideas with Mr. Lavrov," he said.

Speaking about the restoration of the JCPOA, Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran needs stronger guarantees that the agreement will not be annulled again.

"If we can reinforce the existing text, reaching an agreement will not be far from being achieved," he said.

He then urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refrain from making politicized statements and assessments and to thoroughly fulfill its obligations.

"It is unacceptable for Iran that after the return of all parties to the JCPOA, we will again witness unfounded accusations by the IAEA," he stressed.

Amir-Abdollahian also confirmed that Russia and Iran reached "good agreements" regarding the integration of Mir and Shetab payment systems.

"We are optimistic about this and hope that in the near future, the latest technical steps will be taken and the peoples of our states and entrepreneurs will be able to use this opportunity," he said.

Hüseyin Demir

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