Putin arrives in Iran to discuss Syria, nuclear deal
Russian President Vladimir Putin began a visit to Iran on Wednesday designed to underpin closer ties between two countries at loggerheads with the United States as President Donald Trump threatens to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, Reuters reports..
Putin and his Iranian hosts are expected to discuss the nuclear deal and regional crises such as the Syrian conflict, in which Moscow and Tehran are the main backers of President Bashar al-Assad, while Washington, Turkey and most Arab states support opposition groups seeking to overthrow him.
“We are very pleased that, apart from our bilateral relations, our two countries play an important role in securing peace and stability in the region,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Putin in his welcoming remarks.
Russian and Iranian help has proved crucial for Assad, allowing him to win a series of military victories since 2015 and to reestablish his control over most of Syria. Moscow is now trying to build on that success with a new diplomatic push, including a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi next month.
Moscow is also an important ally for Iran in its confrontation with the Trump administration, which on Oct. 13 refused to certify Tehran’s two-year-old nuclear deal with six major powers that include Russia and the United States.