Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks on Wednesday with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during which they discussed bilateral, regional, and international issues.
The talks focused on reviving the negotiations on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as the situation in Ukraine and the "strategic partnership" between the two countries.
Lavrov welcomed the efforts to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, adding that this path could improve the regional climate and settle outstanding issues.
At the outset of the meeting, the Russian minister said that relations between the two countries have moved to a qualitatively new level, praising the increase in trade exchange and the joint work in the fields of energy and significant projects between the two countries.
The two ministers also discussed the Palestinian issue and the situation in Afghanistan, Yemen, the South Caucasus, and the Caspian Sea.
- Russia Lauds China's Role
Lavrov highlighted the situation in Ukraine, praising Iran's interest in political initiatives to settle the conflict, and strongly criticized the ongoing US violations of international laws and norms.
He also criticized the NATO, saying it has become a party to the conflict and practically "fights alongside Ukraine."
"We've once again pointed to the destructive line taken by NATO countries, which have been involved in the conflict for a long time and are being drawn deeper and deeper into it – though I don't think it is hardly possible to get more involved," he said.
For his part, Abdollahian asserted that Tehran understands Moscow's positions, saying the West is further complicating the situation in Ukraine by continuing to provide weapons to Kyiv.
He reiterated Iran's belief that relying on a political settlement to the issue was necessary.
During the joint press conference, Lavrov praised Beijing's peace initiative for Ukraine, asserting that it must be solved through political methods.
He also lauded the Chinese mediation in resuming relations between Tehran and Riyadh. He believed that the step contributed to launching the path of a political settlement in Yemen and reaching settlements of outstanding issues.
For his part, Abdollahian touched on the ties with Riyadh, noting that it requires some time to advance the relations, saying improving relations with neighbors is part of Tehran's faith, and that normalizing relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is a step forward in this direction.
He also welcomed the ongoing talks related to the crisis in Yemen, stressing the importance of pushing forward any efforts to " achieve peace."
Abdollahian said he would soon meet with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.
- Stance against US sanctions
Lavrov said that the meeting emphasized that the non-constructive policy of the West would not be accepted, stressing the need to complete Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, adding that the two sides agreed to strengthen the legal base of the bilateral relations.
Russia and Iran are working to establish a new treaty instead of the previous one. The Russian also FM pointed out that trade relations should be further developed.
Abdollahian praised the level of development of bilateral relations and said that the two countries are close to finalizing the new strategic partnership agreement, and revealed that he had invited his Russian counterpart to visit Tehran soon to sign the deal's final form.
He revealed that Iran submitted 49 documents to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization during its upcoming summit.
The talks were "fruitful," said the FM, reporting "positive progress" in the relations between Russia and Iran in establishing a partnership.
Lavrov also addressed the nuclear agreement, demanding the "extension of the UN resolution on the Iran nuclear deal, and the world is waiting for the US to return to its obligations."
Russia and Iran understand that there is no alternative to the JCPOA, and the agreement should be implemented as soon as possible.
Lavrov announced that all illegal sanctions against Iran should be canceled.
Upon his arrival in Moscow, Abdollahian told Iranian television that the window for nuclear negotiations is still open, indicating that Moscow played an influential role in the new round of talks, and Russian officials continue their efforts to ensure the parties return to their commitments.
- Syria and the South Caucasus
Addressing the Syrian issue, Abdollahian condemned Washington's accusations against Tehran of targeting US bases east of the Euphrates, saying they were baseless.
The FM noted that if next week's meeting between Syrian, Iranian, Russian, and Turkish deputy foreign ministers resulted in an agreement, a similar meeting will be held at the level of foreign ministers.
"Its main goal is to bring the views of Türkiye and Syria closer. Tehran and Moscow will do their best to see this happen. If a framework is determined in the talks, the next round of the meeting can be held at the level of foreign ministers," noted Amir-Abdollahian.
The two ministers also addressed the situation in the South Caucasus region, indicating that tensions are not in the interest of any party.
Lavrov hoped that friction between Iran and Azerbaijan would be temporary and settled soon. "We hope that the current friction between Baku and Tehran is temporary and will be overcome as soon as possible," he said.