Tehran, Iran, Aug. 31
By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:
Russia is a reliable and powerful neighbor of Iran, Ibrahim Rahimpour, Iranian deputy foreign minister, special representative on the Caspian Sea status, said in an exclusive interview with Trend's special correspondent in Tehran.
"The relations between the two countries are strategic and multifaceted," he said. "The presidents of the countries have good friendly relations. The officials always exchanged the views and held the discussions. This cooperation is beneficial for both countries."
Rahimpour estimated the current economic relations between Iran and Russia as unsatisfactory.
"The economic ties strengthened during the reign of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani [the second half of 2013]," he said. "We hope that we will be able to establish good relations with Russia as we managed to achieve this with China."
Before the sanctions were imposed by Western countries against Iran in 2011, Russia's exports to Iran amounted to $3.4 billion, while imports from Iran to Russia - $350 million. But these figures were respectively $1.2 billion and $433 million in 2013.
The trade turnover between the countries amounted to $2 billion in 2005, while the turnover with China was about $9 billion in the same year. At present, the trade turnover between Iran and China is about $ 50 billion.
Iran and Russia also cooperate in the military and security areas.
"The two countries cooperate in the military sphere, as well as in the spheres of security and education in a usual way," he said. "The region is always within the interests of the third parties, which makes cooperation essential."
Russia signed a contract for the sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missile system with Iran in 2007. But its execution was suspended after the sanctions were imposed against Iran in 2010. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on the supply of Russian systems to Iran in April 2015.
Russia also built the only nuclear power plant in Iran - in Bushehr city.
Rahimpur said that the countries continue cooperating within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
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