Russian Envoy Stresses Iran's Strategic Importance
Russian Ambassador to Tehran Alexander Sadovnikov dismissed western views about his country's policies towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, and underlined that Moscow attaches great importance to its relations with Tehran, Fars news reported.
Speaking at a roundtable held by IRAS (the Institute for Research on Iran and Eurasia) here in Tehran on Monday evening, Sadovnikov stressed that Tehran and Moscow attach much significance to their bilateral ties, and said Iran is of paramount importance to Russia, while Russia has a significant place in Iran's foreign policy.
"Iran for us and Russia for Iran have significant places," he said.
"Iran enjoys a unique strategic situation which makes it attractive to Russia," the envoy noted.
Reminding Tehran-Moscow cooperation on developments in the Middle-East and the Central Asia, the envoy added, "Iran and Russia have had much cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are seeking to activate the North-South corridor."
He also called on Tehran to avoid isolation from the international community.
In reaction to the West's criticism against Russia's stance on Iran, Sadovnikov said, "The world, Russia and also Iran have been changed and this is a reality that should be taken into consideration."
The envoy dismissed West's view that considers Russian foreign policy as challenging, said that Moscow's foreign policy is based on its national interests.
Russia, a veto-wielding permanent UN Security Council member, is one of the major powers with close relations with Iran.
Russia is building Iran's first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr and the facility is due to finally come on line this year.
The West suspects Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon under the cover of its civilian nuclear energy program. Russia has said there is no evidence to support these accusations.
Tehran has strongly rejected western allegations, saying it is pursuing access and use of the technology for merely civilian purposes.