West’s concerns over Tehran-Moscow ties not important, Iran deputy FM says
Tehran, Iran, Nov. 10
By Temkin Jafarov, Milad Fashtami - Trend:
Iran doesn't care about the West's concerns over Tehran and Moscow's bilateral trades.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs and Special Representative for Caspian Sea Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour told Trend Agency on Nov. 10 that Iran doesn't take orders from any other country about choosing its economic partners.
Rahimpour is on a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan.
"Iran respects Russia as an independent power. The two countries enjoy historic relations. So It's natural that the two neighboring countries are in favor of increasing their bilateral ties," he said.
"Unfortunately the two countries never had good economic relations in the past, not in the Soviet Union era, and not after its collapse. So there is a kind of shortcoming here. We now want to compensate for this lack of economic relations," Rahimpour said.
"Iran and China's annually trade is around $40 billion, but our trade relations with Russia are only $3 billion. So I think we can boost our relation with Moscow, as well," the official added. "We want to have good and comprehensive relations with Russia just like Turkey, India, China and other countries. The two sides should be satisfied with the level of relations," he said.
Tehran is currently studying the possibility of exporting agricultural products and food-stuff to Moscow in large amounts.
During an official visit to Tehran by a high-ranking Russian delegation, the country officially requested Iran to increase its agricultural products and food--stuff exports to Moscow in order to meet the country's domestic demands.
Head of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Assadollah Asgaroladi said on September 30 that the chamber is studying a plan to replace US dollar with the two country's national currencies - rial and ruble - in bilateral trades.
"A Russian bank is supposed to establish a branch in Tehran, transferring the money to businesspersons at the exchange rate of free market," he explained, Iran's Mehr News Agency reported.
The two countries also plan to launch a joint bank to facilitate money transfers.